The SWAMP helps keep hackers at bay

By Judy Newman, Wisconsin State Journal

SWAMPWhen James Lloyd sits down at his computer, writing code for Redox Engine, the health tech startup he co-founded a year ago, keeping the programs secure from a hack attack is one of his top priorities.

Redox, 111 N. Fairchild St., helps cloud-based health IT apps connect with electronic medical records systems — like those of industry giant Epic System Corp., Verona.

“Protecting patient data and keeping that private, and obeying the regulatory rules is definitely front-of-the-mind for us,” Lloyd said.

It seems as though barely a day goes by that news breaks about some company’s database being breached by hackers or a rabid online virus that is on the loose, threatening computer hard drives or memory.

Remember the Target breach that may have exposed the personal information of 70 million customers? Just last week, the Obama administration said the files of 25.7 million current and former federal employees were accessed through previously reported breaches at the Office of Personnel Management.

CNN/Money reported in May 2014 that up to half the nation’s adults — as many as 110 million Americans — had their personal information unexpectedly exposed by hackers in the previous 12 months, based on figures collected by the Ponemon Institute, Traverse City, Michigan.

What can be done to stop the attacks?

A program in Madison, funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is offering some protection.

The SWAMP, the Software Assurance Marketplace, gives developers a chance to run their software programs through a series of tools that can root out potential pitfalls — small gaffes that may cause hiccups in the way a program runs or bigger gaps that could let hackers wriggle in. Read more …

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