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Florida Unemployment Benefits Security Fix

I’ll share how to securely fix government unemployment and online forms to prevent future security breaches. While ensuring the system remains stable and online regardless of the traffic spikes.

More than 472,000 Floridians have applied for unemployment benefits, or they have tried to only experience frustrations with the online services provided by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

With over 6.6 million people in the USA claiming unemployment assistance, this is just the start of many problems ahead. Many systems around the country have been failing to keep up with the demand.

What’s interesting is that the Government response has been to mail in your PDF application forms. However, this is bound to cause even more data processing issues and communication problems just around the corner as processing staff are working reduced shifts, or dealing with their own quarantine issues. Many Government workers can’t work from home due to security issues. They are therefore leaving your paper forms piling up on a mailroom floor.

Here are my 2020 cybercrime predictions with unemployment benefits fraud within the USA.

  1. Users Personal Identifiable Data (PII) will be stolen by cybercriminals as users attempt to submit online.
  2. Increased Identity theft due to people sending their forms to the wrong address due to social engineering scams.
  3. Increased email phishing fraud, resulting in increases in identity theft and or compromised systems.
  4. Malicious websites used to harvest user information.
  5. Cybercriminals will compromise application websites or mobile apps due to exposed vulnerabilities; therefore, risking data breaches.

Let me explain why I’ve listed these five specific predictions, and I’ll also share exactly how the government can fix this issues to guarantee these data breaches do not occur in the future.

Firstly, why is this data so valuable to cybercriminals?

Well if you aren’t aware of the information that’s required to complete your unemployment benefits includes and not limited to the following:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s License or State ID number
  • Employment information for the last 18 months for each employer
  • Employer ID (You can find this on your W2 or 1099 tax form)
  • Employer Name, address, phone number
  • First and last day of work
  • Gross earnings for the last 18 months
  • Reason for separation
  • If you are not a U.S. Citizen you will be asked for a registration number or other work authorization form
  • A military employee should copy their DD-214 Member 4 or a copy of Member 2-7
  • A federal employee should use SF-8 or SF-50
  • A Union member should list a Union name, hall number, and phone number.

This data is extremely valuable to cybercriminals to sell on the dark web or execute Medicare frauds, credit card frauds, and other financial frauds. This information provides a great deal of opportunity for hackers to exploit this information to also export users as part of targeted phishing email scams or invoice frauds.

If these cybercriminals are thinking strategically, they can also collate this data and use it to extract more information or additional payments from past employers fraudulently. Using this information to personalize attacks against employers is not out of the question. It could be as simple as sending an email requesting confirmation of these employees being terminated, and when the employer clicks on the email, they activate malware or other Remote Access Trojans RAT.

Why should consumers be worried?

Cybercriminals have been extremely savvy during the COVID-19 pandemic and adapting their attacks to trending news. For example, we know that 50% of the domains that were registered relating to the Coronavirus COVID-19 are malicious websites designed to steal your data, credit card information, and install malware on your devices.

Cybercriminals have also launched mobile applications that resulted in user’s devices being held for ransom. This has all happened within the first few weeks of the pandemic, let alone what will happen over the next few months.

We know that cyber attackers will compromise a system and watch and extract data for six months on average. There do the math right now? How many machines are compromised due to the rapid work from home rush?

Just because people are working-from-home doesn’t mean they aren’t clicking on those Clickbait ads and articles. That’s right; it’s not only the politicians that leverage fake news.

There could be thousands of compromised devices due to COVID-19 attacks over the last few weeks. Many companies don’t have sufficient strategies in place to even detect when a breach has occurred within their office. How are they going to detect breaches when their employees are working remotely?

Therefore you must assume many of the personal devices people are using to submit their applications are already compromised.

There are two major issues with online form submissions:

* The browser itself is insecure and often compromised, therefore, the transmission of the data at rest or in transit can be compromised.
* Webforms by their nature are insecure, and due to many websites having relaxed website security, make it easy for Man-in-the-middle attacks.

Then there’s the issue of the database storing all of this data. It’s really a ticking time-bomb for a data breach. For example, MySQL databases have various weaknesses making them prone to compromise.

Therefore the question remains how could the government provide a secure, private, and ransomware proof system that doesn’t crash when it’s used?

At ChatFortress in-conjunction with our partners, we have created a secure end-end solution that provides multiple layers of data protection which includes the following:

  • Secure Browser: we have created a secure browser that is multi-platform that allows complete privacy and data protection. This allows all user sessions to be 100% confidential and VPN tunnel protected.
  • Secure Forms: Our secure form systems allow forms created within the eco-systems to be 100% secure and encrypted. We encrypt the forms at rest prior to the form being submitted. This would require more than a supercomputer to break the encryption. We know this because we have been testing and validating the encryption against multiple supercomputers. This provides end-to-end secure encrypted transmission of the data to our Secure Database system.
  • Secure Database system: The secure database technology provides the most secure database storage, which includes:
    • Protection against data theft: The system withstands database attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, and ransomware attacks with the data being unless if it’s extracted from the system. Our encryption ensures that even if the data is stolen, it will take years to open it even with a supercomputer or quantum computer.
    • Self Healing Database: Our database can self heal and provides protection against database corruption, truncation, and human error.
    • Human Error and Rogue Employee Protection: Our database provides layers of protection and monitoring against internal and external threats.
    • Proprietory Block Encryption: Each record is stored within an encrypted block structure that’s beyond traditional blockchain storage. Our system allows for decentralized data storage with rapid recovery in the event of a ransomware attack. You will never need to pay a ransom demand again.
    • Synchronizer: allows users to access data via the secure application providing a seamless user experience.

The ChatFortress solution would benefit the user and the business because we eliminate insecure databases. We can ensure that data never exists in an unencrypted form either at input, transmission, or at rest, therefore, eliminating man-in-the-middle attacks.

If your device experiences ransomware, theft, or corruption, you can re-install the operating system, then install our application. Within 5 minutes, your system would be like it was before the incident. This eliminates the fear of having to pay a ransom demand or being extorted for payment again. Our decentralized block data structure ensures seamless encryption.

This is why ChatFortress applications are backed by a $1 Million Dollar data loss guarantee.

Even if your data was removed from your system or servers, the data is meaningless. With our ability to apply geo-location and device tags to data, if it’s removed, it can be instantly destroyed.

Therefore if ChatFortress created the applications for unemployment benefits, we could guarantee it’s security along with ensuring load-balancing and data optimization to ensure up-time. This would reduce the financial burden on the thousands of people who haven’t been able to submit their claims.

We can only send our thoughts and prays to the people who are processing the PDF paper applications. Don’t experience a human error when you are inputting and handle with swift hands. The sad reality is that there are going to be thousands of people who will be without benefits for weeks to come.

If you are interested in discovering how we can help you secure your data, contact our team at [email protected] or call us 307-999-7755. We welcome the challenge to help any business or government agency secure their data like never before.

We know it’s not if you will be breached, but what happens to your data when you are breached. If you want to protect your data, you need to be assessing your database security.

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