1. Opinion

The real cause of cyber breaches | Wednesday’s letters

Wednesday’s letters to the editor
Published Sep. 3

Federal aid needed for cybersecurity | Editorial, Sept. 3

The real cause of cyber breaches

An analysis of 1,200 data breaches within the federal government found that 95 percent of the breaches could be traced to poor security habits and human error. And yet, security awareness training is still ignored by many companies and organizations. If there’s a common thread that all the experts agree on, it’s that inadequate training coupled with uneducated employees lie at the root of many, if not most, security breaches. The best way to make sure that your organization’s critical information is protected is to have a security education program and ensure your program is updated on a regular basis and that all employees, both new and current, are required to take and acknowledge the security awareness training.

The more employees understand about how their security practices and behavior affects your company’s security posture, the better off your organization will be. Ransomware being introduced is almost always caused by employees visiting infected web pages they shouldn’t have been surfing in the first place or clicking on links in emails they shouldn’t have. A well-developed and maintained security education program will address these types of mistakes. The good news is a security education program doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg and can be implemented fairly quickly. What organizations shouldn’t do is wait for aid from the federal government because most likely, by the time most organizations receive it, the damage will already have been done.

Mark Khan, Tampa

The writer is a senior information assurance cyber security consultant.

Aggressive driving is escalating | Sept. 1

Please police us drivers

I want to be served and protected. We drivers will continue to text, speed, wander, drive recklessly and aggressively, and forget to lock our cars — the trend will not reverse itself. We are distracted, self-absorbed and task-saturated. We need law enforcement. The Howard Frankland bridge is a combat zone; the Gandy bridge is a weekend drag strip. Unlocked cars are stolen by teens all over Pinellas County, and they mock authority when apprehended. Texters keep texting while police look the other way. The flagrant disregard and disrespect for the law and those who enforce it is tangible and unbounded. Cite drivers who text. Stop the speeders on Gandy. Impose consequences on the juveniles who steal, joyride and crash cars. And on the Howard Frankland, do something. Fund police cruisers at both ends and in both directions. Add surveillance cameras in the middle to calculate speed and observe reckless driving like tailgating. These systems exist all over Europe. Please lead, act, serve and protect.

Jeffrey Cathey, Tampa

New apartments key to push for housing | Sept. 3

Many reasons for poverty

Pinellas County will continue to struggle with the development of affordable housing as long as those who “have” continue to assume that the poor are poor due to mental health or addiction issues. While this is a factor for some, there are many families living paycheck to paycheck, and the loss of a job will send them to the streets. To those who are worried about “undesirables” moving into their neighborhood, I would ask how many living behind closed doors struggle with the same demons?

Diane Pearson, Dunedin


  1. The four girls who were killed Sept. 15, 1963 when a bomb was thrown into the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., are seen, from left, Denise McNair, 11; Carole Robertson, 14; Addie Mae Collins, 14; and Cynthia Dianne Wesley, 14. Associated Press
    Fifty-six years ago, a bomb blew apart the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, killing four girls and injuring dozens more.
  2. In their political afterlife, former politicians and their staffers are hoarding unspent campaign donations for years and using them to finance their lifestyles, advance new careers and pay family members, an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times, 10News WTSP and TEGNA-owned TV stations found. CHRISTOPHER O'DONNELL  |  Steve Madden
    Reps. Gus Bilirakis and Kathy Castor are still pushing the House to take up the reform legislation. It’s past time.
  3. 2 hours ago• Letters to the Editor
    High tide from offshore hurricane Michael creeps up into the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs Wednesday afternoon after the Anclote River backs up. Jim Damaske
    Here’s what readers had to say in Monday’s paper.
  4. Activist Greta Thunberg, foreground, participates in a climate protest, in central Stockholm Sweden. PONTUS LUNDAHL  |  AP
    Here’s some interesting commentary from the opposite poles of the political spectrum.
  5. Connie Schultz File photo
    It started out with a question over a wonderful birthday dinner.
  6. Yesterday• Letters to the Editor
    With his machine gun, a paratrooper of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Brigade advances near Hue at the height of the Vietnam War.
    Here’s what readers had to say in Sunday’s paper.
  7. editorial cartoon from times wires Bill Day -- Florida
  8. Target and some other big retailers plan to hire more seasonal workers than last year.
    Tampa Bay businesses could struggle to find enough qualified workers during the busy holiday shopping season.
  9. Signs posted at St. Petersburg's North Shore Park in September 2016 warned people to stay out of the water due to contamination from sewage released by the city's sewer system after it was overwhelmed by Hurricane Hermine. Times staff
    Raise environmental fines for local governments and companies, but also help communities rebuild their infrastructure.
  10. An architect's rendering shows part of a planned research center and hospital on N McKinley Drive in Tampa for Moffitt Cancer Center. During the 2020 legislative session in Tallahassee, the center will seek an increased share of Florida's cigarette tax to finance the McKinley Drive project and other improvements. Moffitt officials said Thursday that the increase would finance $205 million, to be paired with $332 million they have already allocated for the project. Moffitt Cancer Center
    The cancer center is a global leader and a regional economic driver. It needs more space to accommodate more patients, researchers and technology.