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Fogarty website improves security, users must update older web browsers

October 1, 2018

Fogarty is updating its website to improve security by ending support for Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0. The change is required by the NIH Center for Information Technology, which hosts Fogarty's website. Making this change ensures the Center meets recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

As of Friday, October 12, 2018, computers using older browsers may not be able to access the website because many older browsers use outdated security standards. Users must enable TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2 on their browser (see link to instructions below), or upgrade their browser to access Fogarty's website. Older browsers that need to be upgraded include Apple Safari versions 6 and earlier, Google Chrome versions 21 and earlier, Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 7 and earlier, and Mozilla Firefox versions 22 and earlier.

Background on Transport Layer Security (TLS)

Sensitive data - from credit card numbers to patient health information to social networking details - need protection when transmitted across an insecure network, so administrators employ protocols that reduce the risk of that data being intercepted and used maliciously. TLS, a standard specified by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), defines the method by which client and server computers establish a secure connection with one another to protect data that is passed back and forth. TLS is used by a wide variety of everyday applications, including email, secure web browsing, instant messaging and voice-over-IP (VOIP).

IETF found vulnerabilities in TLS 1.0, one of the most widely used protocols, and updated it to TLS 1.1, and then TLS 1.2, to resolve many of these security issues. In 2014, the NIST recommended that government servers and clients move to TLS 1.1 and 1.2.

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