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How to Use Document Tracking to Maximize Your Marketing

The new PowerPoint presentation is perfect, and the final draft of the white paper you commissioned presents a compelling argument for your product. You email the presentation to your clients and send them a link to your website to download the white paper. Now what? Do you know how many of your customers downloaded the documents? More important, do you know how many actually opened them? Continue...

Lock or Block? DRM vs. DLP

The fundamental concept behind DLP is to block sensitive data from ever leaving the building. While this is a viable concept from a data security perspective, it imposes restrictions on the workflows of organizations that can have negative impacts on productivity, customer and vendor relations, and competitiveness. Continue...

Tax Preparation Advice: Protect Your Personal Data

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but tax season will soon be here. It’s time to start digging through drawers and cigar boxes for all the receipts and forms you’ve been collecting for the last twelve months. While you’re at it, you should also think about the personal and confidential digital documents you have scattered in your computer hard drive—waiting for a hacker to infiltrate. Continue...

Thoughts on the Sony Pictures Data Breach

Sony Pictures Entertainment is the latest high-profile victim of a cyber-attack that has caused it much damage and embarrassment. The breach resulted in tens of thousands of confidential documents being posted on the Internet revealing everything from Social Security Numbers of Sony employees, the home addresses and compensation plans of Sony executives, and rips against Alan Sandler. Continue...

A Renaissance for Content Protection

There is a growing sense of awareness around protecting the data, not just the network, and recognizing that people with the data are the weakest link. This is a trend that validates our own focus on content security. Continue...

50 Million Reasons for Document Protection

In the recent bankruptcy proceedings of GT Advanced, a supplier to Apple, it was revealed that Apple demands fines of $50 million in the case of a breach of confidential information. Sounds like companies doing business with Apple better find a document security solution quick! Continue...

Protect the Contents, Not Just The (Drop)Box

When packaging fragile goods for shipping, it’s advisable to protect the contents. The box itself may be a fine and sturdy container, but there’s no guarantee that what’s inside will arrive at its destination undamaged. That same advice applies to cloud storage and sharing services like Box and Dropbox. Continue...

How to Keep Your Nude Photos Safe

The news has been abuzz in recent weeks over the leaking of nude celebrity photos that were stored on iCloud. But in most of the discussions, one thing is missing; if you really want to prevent people from viewing files stored in the cloud, protect the content itself, not just the network and storage. Continue...

Cybercriminals Can Afford To Be Lazy—You Can’t

Ten noted information security experts were asked one simple question: what can be done to “fix” cybersecurity. Their responses were interesting, though not necessarily groundbreaking. Maybe that’s because (as many implied) any progress we can make to improve security and privacy online is better than none at all. Continue...

Box, Dropbox and the Toxic Internet

The Internet is chaotic, toxic and radioactive. You need a hazard suit to browse it, but fortunately there is one that everyone can use. It’s called encryption. Continue...

Theory and Practice

“In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” – Albert Einstein Continue...

Going Off The Grid

“People have reasons for privacy that are not terrible ones. They just don’t want everything about them captured by a company and kept.” Continue...

A Hard Habit To Kick

In the ‘70s the anti-smoking movement began to gain serious momentum. It was difficult to avoid the growing body of evidence that cigarettes were bad news, but it would be more difficult to break society of the habit. It’s much the same with information security. Continue...

The Novelty of Industrial Espionage

When thinking of industrial espionage the mind tends to drift toward things like advanced weapons systems, high tech gadgetry, heavy equipment, and even arts and entertainment. But horse head squirrel feeders? Continue...

Don’t Resign Yourself To Total Surveillance

"I always feel like somebody's watching me (and I have no privacy)." If you were around in the ‘80s and spent much time in front of the television watching MTV you’ll recognize those words as the opening lyrics to Rockwell’s Somebody’s Watching Me, a one-hit wonder that lovingly capitalized on the Michael Jackson Thriller phenomenon. Continue...

Don’t Get Distracted By Buzzwords

Data privacy. Information security. Big data. These buzzwords are getting a lot of play lately, especially as the concepts and concerns behind each become more and more intertwined. Continue...

Oreo Cookies and Industrial Espionage: A Postscript

Walter Liew of California, recently became the first person convicted under the 1996 Economic Espionage Act. It took the Feds eighteen years to successfully prosecute a case under that law. If I were a corporate spy I’d be encouraged by that calculus. Continue...

If It Needs Protection, It Needs HoGo

Have you ever had a paid subscription to a newsletter or research service, gotten a copy of their latest report and forwarded it to your friends and associates? Okay, maybe you haven’t, but you’ve known someone who did; a friend (wink wink) who used his company’s expense account to pay for the research service and felt justified in sharing the proprietary information because, well, it was expensive. Continue...

It’s Tax (Fraud) Time

In less than a month Americans celebrate Tax Day. And when I say “celebrate,” I really mean dread, loathe, mourn, curse, bemoan, lament or otherwise observe with wailing and gnashing of teeth. It's also a time when we would do well to remember the risks inherent with sharing our most sensitive financial data. Continue...

The World’s Second Oldest Profession

In my early training as a U.S. Naval Intelligence Specialist, espionage was described as “the world's second oldest profession, and less moral than the first.” A well-worn laugh line, but one that was new to the room of fresh-faced teenagers just beginning their lives as adults under the supervision of Uncle Sam. And for me the line stuck. Continue...

For Whom the Data Breach Notice Tolls

I want to return to our perusal of the Online Trust Alliance’s 2014 Data Protection & Breach Readiness Guide to take a look at Data Incident Plans (also known as a Written Information Security Plans) and make it clear that a data breach incident involves much more than consumer financial data. Continue...

Protecting Traditional Knowledge

In recent years there has been a movement to help protect what is known as “traditional knowledge” of the sort that is kept within tribal cultures. I find this fascinating, possibly because I have an understanding of traditional knowledge born of my Western upbringing. Continue...

Ten Questions With… Howard Zaharoff (Part Two)

The second half of our conversation with Howard Zaharoff, attorney with the Waltham, Massachusetts office of the law firm Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton. When I learned that Howard is a part of MBBP’s intellectual property practice, has taught copyright law and has been practicing law for thirty years, I knew I wanted to get his legal perspective to share with our readers. Continue...

Ten Questions With… Howard Zaharoff (Part One)

Today we are talking with Howard Zaharoff, attorney with the Waltham, Massachusetts office of the law firm Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton. When I learned that Howard is a part of MBBP’s intellectual property practice, has taught copyright law and has been practicing law for thirty years, I wanted to get his legal perspective on copyrights and copy protection and share with our readers. Continue...

Simple, Transparent Privacy

I am encouraged by the shifting dialog I note that is tasking place within the community of privacy professionals as that group sees more and more non-traditional perspectives joining its ranks. Continue...

Online Trust And The 89 Percent

I recently perused the Online Trust Alliance’s 2014 Data Protection & Breach Readiness Guide. The item that stood out to me was rightly included in the executive summary and stated that, according to the OTA of all data breaches occurring last year, 89 percent could have been prevented Continue...

Each Of Us Has An Obligation

Last week CFO Magazine ran an article that posed a good question with the headline, "How Exposed is Your Data?" With stories of data breaches affecting tens of millions of people at a swipe, it’s a fair question. Continue...

Is India a Sleeping Giant of Innovation?

An article in Live Mint describes India’s IT economy as being “on the cusp of transformation,” driven by an increased emphasis on innovation in the areas of social, mobility, analytics, and cloud computing—known as SMAC. But being on the cusp doesn’t necessarily mean that India can take the next step. Continue...

Copyright and Calvinism

While doing some research on intellectual property protection recently I came across an interesting bit of trivia: Calvin’s dad was a patent attorney. Yes, that Calvin. Continue...

Why Document Protection? A Struggling Writer’s Story

Like most writers I have endured highs and lows in my chosen profession and persevere with optimism because I harbor ambitions to one day make it big. As I talk with other writers I find that there are anxieties common to our kind. Among them are the concerns related to protecting our ideas. Continue...

Quentin Tarantino Shoulda Used HoGo

Academy Award winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s latest project, a Western entitled The Hateful Eight, is now on the scrap heap thanks to a leaked copy of the script . Maybe he should have used HoGo. Continue...

Ten Questions With… Eva Velasquez (Part One)

Today is Data Privacy Day, so I thought it would be appropriate to help observe the occasion by talking with another warrior on the front lines of the fight against identity crime, Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center, for this edition of, "Ten Questions With..." Continue...

A Data Privacy Day Prelude: Add Your Voice

A week from today, January 28, we observe Data Privacy Day. And when I say “we” I refer to a small and shrinking number of souls who wish for, work for and contribute to a world where governments, businesses, and citizens all recognize and respect the individual’s right to privacy. Continue...

If You Don’t Expect It, Suspect It

Readers of this blog know I’ve got a bee in my bonnet when it comes to the culture of over-sharing that exists—and is encouraged—online. From the start is has been one of the topics most often addressed in this forum, and an issue I’ll continue to preach on. Lately my ire has been directed at a viral content farm known as Upworthy. Continue...

Making eBooks Safe For Democracy

Digital publishing technologies have made it easier than ever for people to make their ideas available to the public. The challenge for authors who are creating works for which they wish to be paid is that protecting valuable copy from unauthorized sharing and distribution has been problematic. Ebook publishing and distribution through companies like Amazon solved the problem of copy protection and distribution, but at a cost—as much as two-thirds of the sale price. Continue...

Ten Questions With… Mari Frank (Part Two)

"Ten Questions With..." is a series of blog posts derived from conversations between HoGo and fellow professionals working toward better practices in and a greater understanding of issues related to information security, data privacy, and the protection of intellectual property. Enjoy! Continue...

Ten Questions With… Mari Frank (Part One)

"Ten Questions With..." is a series of blog posts derived from conversations between HoGo and fellow professionals working toward better practices in and a greater understanding of issues related to information security, data privacy, and the protection of intellectual property. Enjoy! Continue...

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

As is the custom whenever the calendar turns, it is a time for reflection; a time for looking back on the year completed and a time for looking ahead to the year that is before us. Here at HoGo 2013 was the year it all started. Continue...

Protect Your New Technology

Did you get or give new technology for Christmas such as a laptop, tablet or one of the many mobile communications devices available? Make sure to take the necessary security precautions before getting too wrapped up in your online sharing. Continue...

Sowing the Seeds of Corporate Espionage

The word espionage evokes certain clichéd images of dapper spies sipping shaken martinis, bedding dangerous women and employing vast arsenals of nifty gadgets while thwarting villainous plans for world domination. In reality, spy work is a mundane drudgery that rarely approaches the sexy. Continue...

Turning Privacy on its Ear

When we fall into one-click languor and dull our sense of propriety in an online routine that rewards drawing attention to ourselves, it is easy to forget that some information brings exploitable clarity to our real-world identities. Continue...

The Pope is TIME’s Person of the Year. Mine is Edward Snowden

Pope Francis has been selected as TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2013. But for all the good he's done to draw attention to economic and social issues, the Pope is not the person whose actions have singularly had the greatest influence on the world this year. That claim must go to runner-up Edward Snowden. Continue...

Call for Surveillance Reform an Attempt to Repair Trust

Last month HoGo CEO Hiro Kataoka blogged about his view of data collection by commercial and governmental entities and the need for data collectors to establish bonds of trust with the public. Over the weekend eight data collecting tech giants launched a campaign calling for legal reforms to do just that. Continue...

Of Cows and Copyrights

Jersey (the old one, not the new one) recently updated its copyright laws and signed on to the Berne Convention, formally known as the International Convention of Literary and Artistic Works. Why should that matter to you? Continue...

Cold War or Hot Data, Accountability’s Always in Vogue

At 17 years of age I joined the U.S. Navy and became an Intelligence Specialist. I used highly classified information to help in the planning of flight operations for a carrier-based bomber squadron. Although most of my time was spent poring over enormous tomes of information about enemy ships and aircraft and weapons systems, digging through reams of daily classified briefings and signal intelligence, and writing reports and briefings for flight crews, the unglamorous part of my job involved the destruction of documents that were no longer needed. Continue...

Privacy and Pampering at Cruising Altitude

In the fall of 1999 I was on a plane to New Orleans on business and I happened to find myself promoted to first class. I’m not boasting. It’s the only time I’ve ever flown on the swell side of the curtain, and the experience turned out to be a valuable lesson in privacy—and in the importance of being aware of surroundings. Continue...

Another Data Breach, Another Learning Moment

Information security super sleuth Brian Krebs broke another major data breach story on his blog yesterday. What can we learn about our own privacy practices from the Cupid Media data breach? Continue...

While Frenemies Debate, IP Protection Can’t Wait

U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke recently criticized China for its lax enforcement of international laws protecting patents. Predictably China dismissed the charges, claiming progress in the area and accusing the U.S. of relying on an old trope. While the two economic frenemies debate policy, it is incumbent that organizations and individuals take steps to protect their own intellectual property. Continue...

Building (and Breaking) Bonds of Trust

There is a need to establish and maintain trust between the owners (disclosers) of private information, and those who collect that information, especially in our hyper-connected, digital world. HoGo CEO Hiro Kataoka shares his thoughts on the matter. Continue...

Ten Questions With… John Sileo (Part 2)

"Ten Questions With..." is a series of blog posts derived from conversations between HoGo and fellow professionals working toward better practices in and a greater understanding of issues related to information security, data privacy, and the protection of intellectual property. Enjoy! Continue...

Ten Questions With… John Sileo

"Ten Questions With..." is a series of blog posts derived from conversations between HoGo and fellow professionals working toward better practices in and a greater understanding of issues related to information security, data privacy, and the protection of intellectual property. Enjoy! Continue...

Third Dimension of IP Protection

An important intellectual property rights issue continues to simmer on the back burner of industrial consciousness, that of protecting the rights of individuals and patent holders when 3D printing moves into the mainstream. Continue...

Information Security and the Nirvana Fallacy

I’ve talked with too many information security professionals over the years who have balked at investing in better systems because they believed – and rightly so – that the better could not solve all their problems. They’ve fallen victim to the Nirvana Fallacy. Continue...

Ten Questions With… Gant Redmon, Co3 Systems (Part Two)

"Ten Questions With..." is a series of blog posts derived from conversations between HoGo and fellow professionals working toward better practices in and a greater understanding of issues related to information security, data privacy, and the protection of intellectual property. Enjoy! Continue...

Ten Questions With… Gant Redmon, Co3 Systems (Part One)

"Ten Questions With..." is a series of blog posts derived from conversations between HoGo and fellow professionals working toward better practices in and a greater understanding of issues related to information security, data privacy, and the protection of intellectual property. Enjoy! Continue...

BYOD and the Threat of Willful Ignorance

The proliferation of mobile computing and communication devices in the workplace has become a challenge for information technology managers and policy makers for some time, but the proliferation of bring-your-own-device – or BYOD in industry parlance – has suddenly made this a hot topic. Especially since Edward Snowden absconded with a whole lot of the NSA’s secrets. Continue...

Data Breaches and Duck Hunts

Ever have an "uh oh" moment after hitting send? You know – the kind of feeling that puts a little extra pucker in your backside? Maybe you hit “reply all” and didn’t check to see who all the recipients were, or you weren’t sure the attachment was the right one. Sure you have. We all have. Continue...

Good Luck, Mr. Putin

Among the most notorious examples of intellectual property theft is the illegal manufacture of knock-off versions of Russia’s iconic Kalashnikov assault rifle. Vladimir Putin wants to do something about it. Continue...

Privacy and Wonder in the Land Down Under

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner just released the results of a new survey, entitled OAIC Community Attitudes to Privacy survey Research Report 2013, that asked citizens of the Land Down Under how they felt about digital privacy. The results were predictable, yet interesting just the same. Continue...

IP Protection: You’re Never Too Young To Start

If you are a parent residing in California looking to give your elementary school child a head start on a career in intellectual property law, there’s good news. Some school districts will soon be offering a new course of study, entitled “Be a Creator.” Continue...

The Silk Road to Perdition

Have you ever made a decision to do something online you knew was less than secure? Maybe you visited a web site you weren’t certain about, clicked on an interesting (but suspect) link in a moment of curiosity, or attached a document and hit “reply all” to an email without checking all the recipients? Sure you have. We all have. Even notorious online black marketeers make mistakes. And mistakes have consequences. Continue...

Thoughts from a Discussion on Cybersecurity

Last week I attended Cybersecurity: it’s not just for IT Anymore, a panel discussion hosted by law firm Mintz Levin. The panel discussion focused on issues related to risk factors and insurance for data security, but there was plenty of good advice and insight for anyone concerned with protecting valuable information and intellectual property. Thought I would share some notes and thoughts. Continue...

The DEA Wants Your PHI

Facebook may be a great place to share pictures of your cat beard, or to re-circulate the latest meme, but even in an age of rampant social sharing, if you are dealing with addiction, spousal abuse, sexual dysfunction or some other challenge, chances are you aren’t anxious the post the details on your wall. Continue...

Social Sharing Gains Momentum

When I was a little boy attending kindergarten, my teacher extolled the virtues of sharing. It was good to share our toys and, when we did, we set a good example. We had more fun. Sharing was good for everyone. Times have changed. Continue...

Vindicated!

For years I’ve been telling anyone who would listen that one of the biggest challenges with managing digital privacy isn’t one of compliance, but of understanding the needs of individuals and providing the necessary information and tools to allow them to make their own decisions as they relate to privacy. Lately, I've been feeling vindicated. Continue...

Copy Protection? Music to my Ears

There’s an interesting article over at AmericanSongwriter.com, written by Andy Lykens of indie music publisher Imagem Music. The piece answers a few commonly asked questions about copyrighting music, lyrics, and other artistic works. Continue...

Cavoukian’s Plea

In a heartfelt video statement posted on the Privacy by Design website, Ontario, Canada’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, takes aim at the “appalling” amount of effort and resources spent by the U.S. and other governments to “subverting encryption and cryptography.” Continue...

Privacy’s Dead? That’s Soooo 1999.

When it comes to proclamations that privacy is dead, there’s fashionably late and then there’s showing up for the party after the host has washed the dishes and gone to bed. Continue...

Too Big to Protect

The systems on which organizations depend to operate and trade in today’s digital economy are showing cracks as they generate, process, and store more and more information. Continue...

Martin Luther King Jr.: Copyrighting the Dream

Fifty years ago the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his stirring “I Have a Dream” speech to the tens of thousands of people who gathered for 1963’s March on Washington. The speech is regarded as one of the most important in the struggle for civil rights and, indeed, in the history of the United States. Continue...

A Boodle of Queer

In the noirish comedy classic Mister 880, Burt Lancaster plays a Secret Service agent closing in on the elusive, eponymous counterfeiter who only fakes enough small bills to live a modest existence. Continue...

The Cost and Risks of a Data Breach

You don’t need to have a database full of bank records or credit card numbers, personally identifiable information, or health data; any organization or individual that handles data (and, let’s face it… that is all of us) is vulnerable to the effects of a data breach. Continue...

Oreo Filling and Industrial Espionage

Next time you twist apart an Oreo cookie, take note of how white the creamy filling is. Then consider that the pigment used to achieve that bright white – titanium dioxide – is worth a whopping $17 billion per year, making the formula a rich target for industrial espionage. Continue...

The Beat Goes On

The fallout from Edward Snowden’s disclosure of a massive domestic surveillance program run by the National Security Agency is ongoing and worth following. Continue...

On Your Mark. Get Set. Budget!

We’re in the Dog Days of August and, while our bodies may be relaxing on the beach or, perhaps, in the mountains, our minds are being nagged by the thought that business planning for 2014 awaits our return to the office. Continue...

Tales from San Tan Valley

As I scour the interwebs in an endless quest for wisdom, understanding, and cat videos, I occasionally bump into serendipity and learn things I wasn’t expecting. This morning that phenomenon resulted in my discovery of the community of San Tan Valley, Arizona. Continue...

Welcome!

If this is you first visit to Blog Confidential, thanks for coming. If you are a regular, you already know that we use this digital soapbox to help draw attention to the issue of document protection. Continue...

Creator’s Burden

The thought that my creative work may have value is, at times, a bit overwhelming. Not because I am burdened by a lack of self confidence (though I’ll cop to harboring such feelings), but because creating something of value comes with the responsibility of protecting the value of what you’ve created. Continue...

Persistent Privacy

Royal babies. High profile murder investigations. Gangland trials. Sexting politicians. Papal visits. Crazy celebrities. It’s been a busy week for the kind of news that distracts, titillates, and otherwise tickles our collective fancy. And, still, the issue of governmental eavesdropping and personal privacy persists. Continue...

Be Aware Before You Share

One of the first issues this blog touched on, and a consistent theme of our efforts to raise awareness of document security, was that of sharing. Yesterday I came across a new report that confirms the HoGo position on sharing, and adds some new depth to the topic. Continue...

Protecting Your Creations – Another Perspective

Helping you to meet the challenge of protecting your valuable information is a top concern for HoGo, and raising awareness of the issue is a top goal for this blog. We do that by highlighting the complexities of protecting digital data in an environment that is inherently porous, as well as by pointing out stories that illustrate the legal complexities of protecting intellectual property in a world that doesn’t always seem to respect ownership and fair use. Continue...

Encryption and Grizzly Bears

California was the first state to pass a law requiring companies to notify people whenever their personally identifiable information (PII) was put at risk of exposure and misuse as a result of a data breach. Known informally as the California Data Breach Law, SB 1386 gained national prominence in 2005 when data broker Choice Point was duped into selling over 160,000 credit profiles to identity thieves posing as legitimate Choice Point business customers. Continue...

The City by the ©

I love Portland, Maine. I love pizza. I blog for a company that provides simple tools to help people protect their valuable documents and information. Imagine my delight when I stumbled across a Kennebec Journal story that combines all three. Continue...

Making a Pitch for Information Security

I missed this story when it first came to a head, but was interested to read about a bit of potential industrial espionage that has come as a kick to the shins of the Premier League’s Manchester City Football Club. Continue...

A Simple Step to Thwart Betrayal

The most damaging data breaches result from violations of trust. In that brief sentence I have conveyed a vital nugget of common sense that you would do well to remember. Whether you are concerned with safeguarding your company’s valuable intellectual property, or keeping a lid on personal or family secrets, you know that your efforts become more challenging as more people are given access to your confidential information. Worse, the more trust you’ve invested in someone, the greater the damage that person can do. Continue...

Old Habits are Hard to Break

The Snowden/NSA story is a gift that keeps on giving to anyone who follows privacy and information security for a living – or a hobby. (You know who you are. You need help.) And if you are in the business of providing simple, effective tools for helping regular folks do a better job maintaining their digital safety, the story has been a real boon to your marketing efforts as interest in things like anonymous search engines is skyrocketing. Continue...

DNA Death Mask

I attended the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ Navigate 2013 conference last week. Even though it meant staying inside on a glorious June day, it was time well spent. Navigate is not a typical gathering of compliance-focused professionals. The content and format is designed to challenge beliefs and standard approaches to the issue of privacy management. One particularly effective presentation in that vein was that of artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, whose video on DNA spoofing had people squirming – and not just out of squeamishness. Continue...

The NSA May Not Change, But You Can

The more we learn about the NSA’s domestic surveillance program, two things are clear: we are all being watched, and there is no shortage of people willing to expound on that point. First, kudos to the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald for breaking the news and to the Washington Post for a thorough job of following the story as it unfolds. There’s no shortage of technical, political, and other analysis of the disclosure’s implications. Continue...

Quantum Teleportation?

A disclaimer to start this post off: any topic that begins with the word “quantum” is well beyond my intellectual grasp. I’m utterly fascinated by science, and keenly aware of my limitations in such areas. Heck, I struggle with mathematics once it strays beyond addition and subtraction. Long division might as well be quantum division as far as I’m concerned. Continue...

Garden Variety Data Theft

While the nation’s attention is firmly fixed on the PRISM disclosure, it’s good not to forget that more mundane data loss continues unabated. As the federal government grapples with the implications of Edward Snowden’s act, individuals and companies grapple with the implications of the loss of their valuable documents and intellectual property. This point was made in an article in the Economist last month. The sub-head of the piece stated, with a touch of dry humor, that “Cyber-spying grows bigger and more boring.” Continue...