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2015 Data Breach Investigations Report

April 16, 2015 Comments off

2015 Data Breach Investigations Report
Source: Verizon

Prepare your enterprise to conduct individualized self-assessments of risk, so you can make realistic decisions on how to avoid cyber threats. The 2015 DBIR expands its investigation into nine common threat patterns and sizes up the effects of all types of data breaches, from small data disclosures to events that hit the headlines.

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CRS — Marijuana: Medical and Retail–Selected Legal Issues (April 8, 2015)

April 15, 2015 Comments off

Marijuana: Medical and Retail–Selected Legal Issues (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) outlaws the possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana except for authorized research. More than 20 states have regulatory schemes that allow possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Four have revenue regimes that allow possession, cultivation, and sale generally. The U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause preempts any state law that conflicts with federal law. Although there is some division, the majority of state courts have concluded that the federal-state marijuana law conflict does not require preemption of state medical marijuana laws. The legal consequences of a CSA violation, however, remain in place. Nevertheless, current federal criminal enforcement guidelines counsel confining investigations and prosecutions to the most egregious affront to federal interests.

Global Research from Accenture and Ponemon Institute Quantifies How Proactive Cyber Security Strategies Can Improve Security Effectiveness

April 10, 2015 Comments off

Global Research from Accenture and Ponemon Institute Quantifies How Proactive Cyber Security Strategies Can Improve Security Effectiveness
Source: Accenture/Ponemon Institute

New research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and the Ponemon Institute sheds light on the success factors of companies that have improved their cyber security strategies, resulting in quantifiable business benefits. The research shows that proactive strategies can improve and expand on value delivered to the business.

Of the nearly 240 companies surveyed as part of the global research, those with a more proactive security stance saw their security effectiveness score improve by an average of 53 percent over a two-year period, while non-proactive companies only achieved a change of 2 percent. The report, “The Cyber Security Leap: From Laggard to Leader,” looks at how companies can achieve better security performance while facing an ever-changing number of threats and is the result of a collaborative study conducted by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute.

The research focused on organizations that fit into one of two categories based on how they address security: ‘Leapfrog’ companies, which align security with business goals, focus on security innovation and proactively address potential cyber security threats; and ‘Static’ companies, which focus more on cyber security threat prevention and compliance.

For instance, 70 percent of Leapfrog companies have a company-sanctioned security strategy, compared with just 55 percent of Static companies. In addition, the report’s probability estimates indicate that the perceived likelihood of material data breaches have decreased over time by 36 percent for Leapfrog companies but only by 5 percent for Static companies.

IRS — Victims of Identity Theft Continue To Experience Delays And Errors In Receiving Refunds

April 10, 2015 Comments off

Victims of Identity Theft Continue To Experience Delays And Errors In Receiving Refunds
Source: Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Victims of identity theft continue to experience delays and errors in receiving refunds, according to a report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

This audit follows up on a 2013 TIGTA report which concluded that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was not providing quality customer service to identity theft victims. The objective was to determine whether the IRS is improving its assistance to victims of identity theft.

On average, the IRS took 278 days to resolve the tax accounts of identity theft victims due a refund, according to TIGTA’s review of a statistically valid sample of 100 identity theft tax accounts resolved in the Accounts Management function in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. That is an improvement over the average 312 days it took the IRS to resolve tax accounts of identity theft victims due a refund in FY 2012.

The Impact of Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime

April 9, 2015 Comments off

The Impact of Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime (PDF)
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service

In the last few years, mortgage foreclosures have uprooted millions of households, and many have expressed concern that the foreclosed homes they leave behind are increasing crime. The three papers that emerged from our project study this question by examining whether and how elevated foreclosures affect different types of crime in the immediately surrounding area, in five cities around the country.

In our first paper, we use point-specific, longitudinal crime and foreclosure data from New York City to examine how foreclosures affect crime on the same blockface– an individual street segment including properties on both sides of the street. We compare changes in crime on blockfaces after homes on the blockface enter foreclosure to changes on other blockfaces in the same neighborhood that did not experience foreclosures during the same time period.

In our second two papers we focus more on identifying mechanisms and also extend our analysis to four other cities to test for generalizability. Our second paper, focused on Chicago, finds similar results as we did in New York City: an increase in the number of properties that receive foreclosure notices appears to increase total, violent, and public order crime on blockfaces in Chicago. In addition, our estimates suggest that foreclosures change the location of crime.

In our third paper, we explore the relationship between foreclosures and crime in five cities, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, and Philadelphia. Overall, we find that properties banks take over through foreclosure (real estate owned or REO) are associated with higher crime both in the census tract and on the blockface. However, once we control for the number of properties in the foreclosure process (which we can do in three cities), we find no evidence that the presence of REO properties increases crime. Rather, it is the properties on the way to foreclosure auctions that appear to elevate crime.

Collectively, these results suggest that local law enforcement and housing agencies should track foreclosure notices and monitor properties as they go through the foreclosure process, as their owners have little incentive to maintain them.

National White Collar Crime Center Annual Report 2014

April 9, 2015 Comments off

National White Collar Crime Center Annual Report 2014 (PDF)
Source: National White Collar Crime Center

Throughout 2014, NW3C continually endeavored to empower law enforcement through innovative solutions, both by creating new tools and courses and by finding ways to improve existing processes. This report describes the impressive results obtained from consistent, dedicated effort.

In 2014, NW3C delivered classroom and web-based training to 20,593 law enforcement personnel. The number of people trained represents a 39% increase over 2013, due in large part to NW3C’s goal to make more courses accessible online.

By year’s end, NW3C had provided over 8,000 online training sessions covering a wide variety of subjects of interest to law enforcement, including intellectual property, identifying and seizing electronic evidence, social media, encryption, and legal concerns for digital evidence. Made possible in part by funding from BJA, these online training courses were offered free of charge to qualified law enforcement personnel throughout the nation, enabling them to conveniently obtain the skills needed to effectively serve their communities.

Prosecution, Transfer, and Registration of Serious Juvenile Sex Offenders

April 7, 2015 Comments off

Prosecution, Transfer, and Registration of Serious Juvenile Sex Offenders (PDF)
Source: Office of Justice Programs

States vary widely between their applicable ages of criminal responsibility, circumstances in which a juvenile will automatically be prosecuted in adult criminal court (legislative waiver), and when the decision to try a juvenile in adult court is vested either in the prosecuting attorney (prosecutorial waiver) or a judge (judicial waiver). Any survey of sex offender registration and notification requirements applicable to juveniles is incomplete without a more thorough analysis of the systems of charging, adjudication, disposition, transfer, and/or sentencing which might apply to a serious juvenile sex offender.

This overview paints a broad picture of the state of the law in the United States regarding these issues, and then takes a look at the relevant provisions regarding sex offender registration and notification for juveniles adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court of serious sex offenses.

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