Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has played a significant role in both the health and economy of the state of Rhode Island since 1939. More than one out of two Rhode Islanders have chosen BCBSRI.

BCBSRI mission

The organisation’s mission is to provide its members with peace of mind and improved health by representing them in their pursuit of affordable, high-quality healthcare.

BCBSRI needed to upgrade its workplace to a more efficient, secure, effective and sustainable environment. An in-depth analysis compared the feasibility of renovating several older buildings to constructing a new building.

A benefit for the new building was the opportunity to install a completely new state-of-the-art system to dramatically increase security. Having a secure work environment is a major issue for a health insurance company in meeting HIPAA requirements, and can involve access control, visitor management and video surveillance.

Updating security systems

BCBSRI used Barium Ferrite technology for security in its old buildings. This older technology is based on sandwiching a flexible magnetised material between two PVC layers and encoding spots on a polarised magnetic field, which is then electrically injected into the barium ferrite. These magnetically encoded areas activate sensors when a card is inserted into the reader.

While Barium Ferrite is cost effective, the technology is highly susceptible to duplication and the cards themselves have a short shelf life. Therefore, this security technology was not a consideration for BCBSRI’s access control system in the new headquarters.

Another goal in this transition was to create
an environmentally friendly and sustainable workplace

Ecofriendly Multi-function solution

To meet both HIPAA requirements and to create a streamlined work environment, the company was looking for a multi-function, high-security and user-friendly solution. Erecting an entirely new structure made for a seamless upgrade to state-of-the-art security technology that integrated easily with other cutting-edge systems in the new building.

Another goal in this transition was to create an environmentally friendly and sustainable workplace. One aspect of this was to install multi-function printers (MFPs), something BCBSRI had been considering for some time. It was critical to have a security system that enabled the move to MFPs.

The company also wanted a one-card solution that allowed them to do more than open the door. They wanted the same card to be enabled for use with services such as cashless vending in the cafeteria, as well as for access control in the company gym and parking structures. In addition, BCBSRI wanted an elevated level of security in restricted areas, so a system enabling biometrics was also desirable.

Multi-application solution with HID

The security systems integrator, Team AVS, had been working with BCBSRI for 10 years, so it was a natural decision for them to install the new building’s security system and make recommendations for complementary technology. Eric Caruso, business development manager, and his team presented an HID Global portfolio as the core of the access-control solution.

“We’ve been an HID Global partner for more than 15 years, so we know we can count on them,” said Eric Caruso. “Not only are the products reliable and come with a lifetime warranty, we also know that the local support our clients get reflects well on us.”

With Genuine HID, customers also get the most-trusted, fully interoperable, secure identity solutions on the market

Secure investment for the future

Team AVS recommended Genuine HID products – iCLASS R40 readers and iCLASS smart cards – for their customisation and flexibility that enables them to work with the multiple applications required by BCBSRI.

With Genuine HID, customers also get the most-trusted, fully interoperable, secure identity solutions on the market, the industry’s first lifetime warranty, and the strongest delivery and response platform available. This ensures optimisation of the company’s security investment for years to come.

Team AVS also recommended using HID Identity on Demand (IoD) services to produce the new badges, thus simplifying the re-badging project and reducing the strain on company resources during the move.

Smart card-enabled MFPs

In moving to the new building, BCBSRI downsized from 600 units for printing, faxing and copying to 100 MFPs. In doing so, they saved paper and ink, reduced their carbon production by using fewer devices, and increased document security utilising “secure print.”

In the past, BCBSRI managed document security by having locally dedicated desktop printers, accessible only by staff near to the printer. Since the new MFPs were centrally located among groups of employees, multi-function, secure-access cards provided the security, and at a much higher level. Now, when an employee sends a job to print, it sits in the cloud until they arrive at the printer, scan their HID multipurpose smart card, and request their specific job to output.

Smart integration application

“If we didn’t have the HID cards, we couldn’t have had the multifunction devices,” said Tom Bovis, assistant vice president, Corporate Real Estate/ Administrative Services. “The easy integration of iCLASS made the company more green.”

BCBSRI completed full analysis of potential vendors and selected Konica/ Minolta Business Solutions to provide the MFPs. Since Konica/Minolta is an official HID Connect partner and an integrator of Genuine HID Technology, Team AVS could be ensured that everything would work together seamlessly.

Migrating employees to
the new smart cards was easily accomplished in
the move process

One-card solution

In the old buildings, BCBSRI employees had a separate card for the cashless vending system – Freedom Pay. The company was pleased with their service and preferred to keep them. Freedom Pay is an HID Connect Premier Partner and integrates Genuine HID Technology. This made the transition simple and successful. Now employees carry only one card for secure access and cashless vending. That same card also works for parking, gym membership and, as mentioned above, printing, copying and faxing using the MFPs.

As required by HIPAA, the cards also display the employee’s photo. For those needing access to restricted areas, including the data center and cash processing, their cards also contain biometrics. Following the card swipe, these employees also enter a PIN to gain access to the most secure areas.

“People are happy with the system,” says Bovis. “They’re impressed with how easy it is to use while still providing state-of-the-art security.”

Ease of migration to new system

Migrating employees to the new smart cards was easily accomplished in the move process since BCBSRI used HID Identity on Demand services (IoD). Although BCBSRI had its own badge printer that would work with iCLASS, to print a large quantity of cards all at once would be a strain on staff and equipment.

Instead, a dedicated IoD project-management team gathered the necessary information and handled card production, leaving BCBSRI security staff free to focus on other issues.

IoD was able to use the photos and information in BCBSRI’s existing database for the new cards, saving significant time and resources for the company. IoD’s graphics team created custom card designs for various populations, such as employees and contractors.

All multi-function, photo-ID, iCLASS smart cards were printed and delivered in
the time frame requested

Timely transition

All 1,200 multi-function, photo-ID, iCLASS smart cards were printed and delivered in the time frame requested, in advance of the move. Every other weekend, 250 employees moved from the old buildings to the new. The department head simply picked up their employees’ badges and handed them out prior to moving day.

When the cards first arrived, Bovis and a colleague, Jim Keay, tested the cards with all the applications. “The iCLASS cards worked great,” said Bovis. “We didn’t experience any bugs or glitches.”

Enhanced security with reduced output devices

Enhanced security was just one component in the decision to build a new headquarters for BCBSRI. However, in a regulated industry that deals constantly in confidential, personal information, it was an important one. By choosing Genuine HID, BCBSRI has a trusted, reliable system that meets their needs today and is scalable for future growth and technology advancement.

“The decision to go with HID was easy,” says Bovis. The result is a more secure physical environment, safer document handling, a one-card solution for all access and cashless vending needs, and a more environmentally friendly workplace with an 80 percent reduction in output devices.

By rebuilding rather than renovating, the company will also save $25 million over the next 23 years. The new BCBSRI headquarters will also be the first Gold LEED-certified commercial building in Providence.

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Adapting servers for IP video surveillance systems: Why manufacturers struggle
Adapting servers for IP video surveillance systems: Why manufacturers struggle

Security integrators are often tasked with a multitude of responsibilities which could include a variety of installation, integration or design tasks made up of sprinkler systems, fire alarms, access control, HVAC, video surveillance systems and networks; and then pile on maintenance, training and analytics. Traditionally, most security integrators have installation backgrounds but are now expected to be IT savvy, too. Even the most proficient IT professionals may not fully grasp the complexity of adapting computer servers for use with video systems. It’s not the area of expertise of security integrators as the complexities between IT data and video data are significant. Therefore, security integrators depend on system builders to provide solutions to meet the needs of video systems expertly and with few hassles. It’s a simple enough ask, but not so easy to deliver. Tom Larson, Chief Technology Officer, BCDVideo, lists some of the challenges: The gap between reality and customer expectations End users should expect a security integrator to provide services and a wide product line to ensure the right equipment for any size job Sometimes there is a gap between what a security integrator expects from a video surveillance solution (in terms of validation testing, dependability, technical support) and the performance of available choices, especially in the case of low-cost or generic equipment. Extra service and support are needed to bridge the gap. Unfortunately, some manufacturers entering the market have failed to deliver, and integrators (and their end user customers) have paid a price. The network is often overlooked Security integrators should pay special attention to engineering the network and calculating the bandwidth and storage needed for video projects, especially given how technology evolves so quickly. Security is an appliance-driven business, and integrators who just want to add another server to expand storage or functionality without configuring the network run the risk of i/o bottlenecks and other system failures. End users should expect a security integrator to provide services and a wide product line to ensure the right equipment for any size job. Unfortunately, traditional IT resellers are often married to a singular solution limiting their knowledge of a good fit for the job. Buying a video server based on a low price aggravates the problem, as “Frankensteined” or generic servers tend to generate additional costs over time Servers are mistakenly considered a one-time expense One mistake purchasing agents make and security integrators have a hard time quantifying is viewing video storage as a capital expense (as one more component of a security system) rather than considering ongoing operating expenses. Buying a video server based on a low price aggravates the problem. “Frankensteined” or generic servers tend to generate additional costs over time, such as firmware or supply chain issues, and some systems builders have failed to provide support to offset those costs. In fact, the high costs over time of supporting inexpensive servers have been unsustainable for some system builders, who have left integrators and end users holding the bag, and in some cases, the liability. Adapting to sustainable strategies “Systems builders to the video surveillance market must adapt and invest to meet the demands of security integrators’ expectations, and they need a business model that enables them to provide a substantial level of support and commitment,” says Larson. “Working with high-quality manufacturers and providing tried-and-tested, certified equipment upfront ensures manageable costs over the life of the system. Products that are fully tested and contain no firmware bugs ensure smoother installations. By providing adequate technical support to the security integrator and managing IT variables over the life of the system, the systems builder makes it possible for a security integrator to specify and install a video server as easily as any other system component.” Keeping IT professionals on staff to deal with server issues is cost-prohibitive for security integrators Taking a longer-term view and considering total cost of ownership is a more sustainable strategy for integrators, says Larson. Investing upfront in a higher-quality server is rewarded by dependability and lower service costs over the life of the system. And the lower costs of supporting a higher-quality server create a more sustainable business model for the integrator, thus ensuring the integrator and end user will have ongoing support. Adapting server technology to video applications Security integrators deliver a different skill set than IT integrators, who tend to be more hands-on in terms of updating firmware and providing maintenance. Keeping IT professionals on staff to deal with server issues is cost-prohibitive for security integrators, who therefore depend on systems builders to provide that expertise. They develop a long-term relationship with a systems builder they can depend on to meet their needs for each job. Larson says the best scenario for a security integrator is a combination of a high-quality server systems builder that understands the specific needs of the security integrator market. Adapting server technology to video applications requires knowledge of both disciplines. Dependable technology adapted to the needs of the video channel ensures successful installations and happy, long-term customers.

New Year’s Resolutions to counter web and mobile application security breaches in 2019
New Year’s Resolutions to counter web and mobile application security breaches in 2019

With the coming of a New Year, we know these things to be certain: death, taxes, and… security breaches. No doubt, some of you are making personal resolutions to improve your physical and financial health. But what about your organisation’s web and mobile application security? Any set of New Year’s resolutions is incomplete without plans for protecting some of the most important customer touch points you have — web and mobile apps. Every year, data breaches grow in scope and impact. Security professionals have largely accepted the inevitability of a breach and are shifting their defense-in-depth strategy by including a goal to reduce their time-to-detect and time-to-respond to an attack. Despite these efforts, we haven’t seen the end of headline-grabbing data breaches like recent ones affecting brands such as Marriott, Air Canada, British Airways and Ticketmaster. App-level threats The apps that control or drive these new innovations have become today’s endpoint The truth of the matter is that the complexity of an organisation’s IT environment is dynamic and growing. As new technologies and products go from production into the real world, there will invariably be some areas that are less protected than others. The apps that control or drive these new innovations have become today’s endpoint — they are the first customer touch point for many organisations. Bad actors have realised that apps contain a treasure trove of information, and because they are often left unprotected, offer attackers easier access to data directly from the app or via attacks directed at back office systems. That’s why it’s imperative that security organisations protect their apps and ensure they are capable of detecting and responding to app-level threats as quickly as they arise. It’s imperative that security organisations protect their apps and ensure they are capable of detecting and responding to app-level threats as quickly as they arise In-progress attack detection Unfortunately, the capability to detect in-progress attacks at the app level is an area that IT and security teams have yet to address. This became painfully obvious in light of the recent Magecart attacks leveraged against British Airways and Ticketmaster, among others. Thanks to research by RiskIQ and Volexity, we know that the Magecart attacks target the web app client-side. During a Magecart attack, the transaction processes are otherwise undisturbed Attackers gained write access to app code, either by compromising or using stolen credentials, and then inserted a digital card skimmer into the web app. When customers visited the infected web sites and completed a payment form, the digital card skimmer was activated where it intercepted payment card data and transmitted it to the attacker(s). Data exfiltration detection During a Magecart attack, the transaction processes are otherwise undisturbed. The target companies receive payment, and customers receive the services or goods they purchased. As a result, no one is wise to a breach — until some 380,000 customers are impacted, as in the case of the attack against British Airways. The target companies’ web application firewalls and data loss prevention systems didn’t detect the data exfiltration because those controls don’t monitor or protect front-end code. Instead, they watch traffic going to and from servers. In the case of the Magecart attacks, the organisation was compromised and data was stolen before it even got to the network or servers. Today’s proven obfuscation techniques can help prevent application reverse engineering, deter tampering, and protect personal identifiable information and API communications Best practice resolutions The Magecart attacks highlight the need to apply the same vigilance and best practices to web and mobile application source code that organisations apply to their networks—which brings us to this year’s New Year’s resolutions for protecting your app source code in 2019: Alert The key to success is quickly understanding when and how an app is being attacked First, organisations must obtain real-time visibility into their application threat landscape given they are operating in a zero-trust environment. Similar to how your organisation monitors the network and the systems connected to it, you must be able to monitor your apps. This will allow you to see what users are doing with your code so that you can customise protection to counter attacks your app faces. Throughout the app’s lifecycle, you can respond to malicious behavior early, quarantine suspicious accounts, and make continuous code modifications to stay a step ahead of new attacks. Protect Next, informed by threat analytics, adapt your application source code protection. Deter attackers from analysing or reverse engineering application code through obfuscation. Today’s proven obfuscation techniques can help prevent application reverse engineering, deter tampering, and protect personal identifiable information and API communications. If an attacker tries to understand app operation though the use of a debugger or in the unlikely event an attacker manages to get past obfuscation, threat analytics will alert you to the malicious activity while your app begins to self-repair attacked source code or disable portions of the affected web app. The key to success is quickly understanding when and how an app is being attacked and taking rapid action to limit the risk of data theft and exfiltration. Protecting encryption keys is often overlooked but should be considered a best practice as you forge into the new year with a renewed commitment to app security to ensure your organisation’s health and well-being in 2019 Encrypt Finally, access to local digital content and data, as well as communications with back office systems, should be protected by encryption as a second line of defense, after implementing app protection to guard against piracy and theft. However, the single point of failure remains the instance at which the decryption key is used. Effective encryption requires a sophisticated implementation of White-Box Cryptography This point is easily identifiable through signature patterns and cryptographic routines. Once found, an attacker can easily navigate to where the keys are constructed in memory and exploit them. Effective encryption requires a sophisticated implementation of White-Box Cryptography. One that combines a mathematical algorithm with data and code obfuscation techniques transforming cryptographic keys and related operations into indecipherable text strings. Protecting encryption keys is often overlooked but should be considered a best practice as you forge into the new year with a renewed commitment to app security to ensure your organisation’s health and well-being in 2019. Protecting applications against data breach According to the most recent Cost of a Data Breach Study by the Ponemon Institute, a single breach costs an average of $3.86 million, not to mention the disruption to productivity across the organisation. In 2019, we can count on seeing more breaches and ever-escalating costs. It seems that setting—and fulfilling—New Year’s resolutions to protect your applications has the potential to impact more than just your risk of a data breach. It can protect your company’s financial and corporate health as well. So, what are you waiting for?

How organisations can secure user credentials from data breaches and password hacks
How organisations can secure user credentials from data breaches and password hacks

In the age of massive data breaches, phishing attacks and password hacks, user credentials are increasingly unsafe. So how can organisations secure accounts without making life more difficult for users? Marc Vanmaele, CEO of TrustBuilder, explains. User credentials give us a sense of security. Users select their password, it's personal and memorable to them, and it's likely that it includes special characters and numbers for added security. Sadly, this sense is most likely false. If it's anything like the 5.4 billion user IDs on haveibeenpwned.com, their login has already been compromised. If it's not listed, it could be soon. Recent estimates state that 8 million more credentials are compromised every day. Ensuring safe access Data breaches, ransomware and phishing campaigns are increasingly easy to pull off. Cyber criminals can easily find the tools they need on Google with little to no technical knowledge. Breached passwords are readily available to cyber criminals on the internet. Those that haven’t been breached can also be guessed, phished or cracked using one of the many “brute-force” tools available on the internet. It's becoming clear that login credentials are no longer enough to secure your users' accounts. Meanwhile, organisations have a responsibility and an ever-stricter legal obligation to protect their users’ sensitive data. This makes ensuring safe access to the services they need challenging, particularly when trying to provide a user experience that won’t cause frustration – or worse, lose your customers’ interest. After GDPR was implemented across the European Union, organisations could face a fine of up to €20 million, or 4% annual global turnover Importance of data protection So how can businesses ensure their users can safely and simply access the services they need while keeping intruders out, and why is it so important to strike that balance? After GDPR was implemented across the European Union, organisations could face a fine of up to €20 million, or 4% annual global turnover – whichever is higher, should they seriously fail to comply with their data protection obligations. This alone was enough to prompt many organisations to get serious about their user’s security. Still, not every business followed suit. Cloud security risks Breaches were most commonly identified in organisations using cloud computing or where staff use personal devices According to a recent survey conducted at Infosecurity Europe, more than a quarter of organisations did not feel ready to comply with GDPR in August 2018 – three months after the compliance deadline. Meanwhile, according to the UK Government’s 2018 Cyber Security Breaches survey, 45% of businesses reported breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. According to the report, logins are less secure when accessing services in the cloud where they aren't protected by enterprise firewalls and security systems. Moreover, breaches were most commonly identified in organisations using cloud computing or where staff use personal devices (known as BYOD). According to the survey, 61% of UK organisations use cloud-based services. The figure is higher in banking and finance (74%), IT and communications (81%) and education (75%). Additionally, 45% of businesses have BYOD. This indicates a precarious situation. The majority of businesses hold personal data on users electronically and may be placing users at risk if their IT environments are not adequately protected. Hackers have developed a wide range of tools to crack passwords, and these are readily available within a couple of clicks on a search engine Hacking methodology In a recent exposé on LifeHacker, Internet standards expert John Pozadzides revealed multiple methods hackers use to bypass even the most secure passwords. According to John’s revelations, 20% of passwords are simple enough to guess using easily accessible information. But that doesn’t leave the remaining 80% safe. Hackers have developed a wide range of tools to crack passwords, and these are readily available within a couple of clicks on a search engine. Brute force attacks are one of the easiest methods, but criminals also use increasingly sophisticated phishing campaigns to fool users into handing over their passwords. Users expect organisations to protect their passwords and keep intruders out of their accounts Once a threat actor has access to one password, they can easily gain access to multiple accounts. This is because, according to Mashable, 87% of users aged 18-30 and 81% of users aged 31+ reuse the same passwords across multiple accounts. It’s becoming clear that passwords are no longer enough to keep online accounts secure. Securing data with simplicity Users expect organisations to protect their passwords and keep intruders out of their accounts. As a result of a data breach, companies will of course suffer financial losses through fines and remediation costs. Beyond the immediate financial repercussions, however, the reputational damage can be seriously costly. A recent Gemalto study showed that 44% of consumers would leave their bank in the event of a security breach, and 38% would switch to a competitor offering a better service. Simplicity is equally important, however. For example, if it’s not delivered in ecommerce, one in three customers will abandon their purchase – as a recent report by Magnetic North revealed. If a login process is confusing, staff may be tempted to help themselves access the information they need by slipping out of secure habits. They may write their passwords down, share them with other members of staff, and may be more susceptible to social engineering attacks. So how do organisations strike the right balance? For many, Identity and Access Management solutions help to deliver secure access across the entire estate. It’s important though that these enable simplicity for the organisation, as well as users. Organisations need an IAM solution that will adapt to both of these factors, providing them with the ability to apply tough access policies when and where they are needed and prioritising swift access where it’s safe to do so Flexible IAM While IAM is highly recommended, organisations should seek solutions that offer the flexibility to define their own balance between a seamless end-user journey and the need for a high level of identity assurance. Organisations’ identity management requirements will change over time. So too will their IT environments. Organisations need an IAM solution that will adapt to both of these factors, providing them with the ability to apply tough access policies when and where they are needed and prioritising swift access where it’s safe to do so. Importantly, the best solutions will be those that enable this flexibility without spending significant time and resource each time adaptations need to be made. Those that do will provide the best return on investment for organisations looking to keep intruders at bay, while enabling users to log in safely and simply.