Insights from the Verizon 2018 Data Breach Investigation Report

The 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) was published in early April, reporting on 53,308 security incidents and 2,216 data breaches from 67 contributors in 65 countries. It’s an important read for organizational leaders, and cyber professionals to find data-driven evidence of industry-specific incident patterns. It’s also important to distinguish incidents from breaches. A breach is an incident that results in the confirmed disclosure—not just potential exposure—of data to an unauthorized party. The remainder of this article will discuss data breaches. The following quote from Robert Novy, Deputy Assistant Director at the US Secret Service, is a good summary…

Takeaways from the Russia-Linked US Senate Phishing Attacks

The Zero Trust Security approach could empower organizations and protect their customers in ways that go far beyond typical security concerns. On January 12, 2018, cybersecurity firm Trend Micro revealed that Russia-linked hackers tried to infiltrate the US Senate, leveraging phishing attacks to harvest access credentials. These tactics suggest that the hackers were laying the groundwork for a widespread compromise of Senate employees. And while these findings might further bolster the public view that the Kremlin is trying to influence our democracy, security professionals should not get distracted by the media frenzy that these revelations created and instead focus on the real…

Zero Trust Security for the New Australian Data Breach Law

Many Australian businesses need to rethink their approach to security to prepare for their nation’s new mandatory data breach notification law which take effect this month. The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 enacts the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme in Australia from February 22 this year. The NDB scheme mandates that organizations suffering lost or breached data must notify affected customers as soon as they become aware of the breach and must also report the incident to the Privacy Commissioner. The legislation covers information such as personal details, credit reports, credit eligibility details, and tax file number (TFN) records…

What do Equifax, HBO, Uber and Yahoo All Have in Common?

A consumer ratings agency, a cable network, a transportation company and a web services provider. What ties them together? Sure, they were all impacted by very high-profile security breaches. But, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find these organizations had a lot in common before, during and after their respective breaches. And those commonalities can teach us valuable lessons. A quick recap Equifax became the latest poster child for cybersecurity after it announced criminals had gained access to the financial data of 143 million people. The massive breach led to 23 class-action lawsuits, a $4.3 billion loss in market…

Data Breaches Plague Organizations for Years

Once an organization’s network is breached, extinguishing the flames is just the first step in a long, painful and costly journey to recovery. There’s still the wreckage to sift through, investigators to perform analyses, insurance claims and, of course, a business to reconstruct and secure. It isn’t business as usual once operations are restored; a breach can plague an organization for years. Financial Aftermath Smolders Not long after the event, the breach’s impact on stock price and earnings becomes clear. In July, just weeks after it was breached by the NotPetya malware, FedEx announced it expected a material loss associated…

Six Cybersecurity Questions for the C-Suite

Countless breaches of the past year demonstrate that C-suite executives and company directors must rethink their security. Earlier this year, Equifax saw its share price drop by 13 per cent within a day of revealing a data breach while last year Yahoo suffered a $350 million cut in its sale price to Verizon after reporting data breaches affecting one billion accounts — a number that was later increased to all three billion accounts with critical information stolen, including names, email addresses, telephone numbers, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers, dates of birth, and hashed passwords. The devastation of these incidents, alone,…

How the Uber Data Breach Could Have Been Prevented

Background on the Uber Breach History is replete with examples of individuals and organizations turning manageable problems into serious crises simply by trying to hide the truth. While the Uber data breach was large in terms of the 57M customer and driver records lost, if Uber had followed standard breach protocol by notifying authorities and impacted users, remediated the problem and laid out steps that they were taking to avoid future breaches, the impact would have been much less. Uber was under a legal obligation to notify regulators and to the impacted users and drivers. Instead they took extreme measures…

Equifax Breach Shows Firms Still Aren’t Getting the Basics Right Ahead of GDPR Deadline

As each week brings the 25 May 2018 deadline for GDPR compliance closer to hand, we seem to be faced with yet another report highlighting poor levels of preparedness among organisations. Recent findings reveal that an astonishing 64% of UK firms have not yet begun preparations for the sweeping new data protection law. Yet as shocking as these stats are, a far more effective way to focus the minds of IT security and business leaders is to highlight some recent big-name data breaches and consider how the companies affected would have been treated in a post-GDPR world. For Equifax, there’s particularly…

The Equifax Disaster: Technical Controls — ICIT’s Synopsis of America’s In-Credible Insecurity

The following excerpts are from the Technical Controls section of Part-1 of the ICIT Equifax report entitled “America’s In-Credible Insecurity,” written by James Scott, Sr. Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure (ICIT). Technical Controls Data Encryption Data should be protected according to its value and the potential harm that would result if it were stolen. Encryption does not prevent adversaries or insiders from exfiltrating data; however, it does deter or prevent attackers from exploiting the stolen data unless they spend significant additional resources breaking the encryption or stealing the decryption keys. Data Loss Prevention Data loss prevention is the employment of…

The Equifax Data Breach Disaster: ICIT’s Synopsis of America’s In-Credible Insecurity

The following are some of the key points excerpted from Part One of the ICIT Equifax report entitled “America’s In-Credible Insecurity,” written by James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure. This polemic 32-page report is an essential read for security practitioners, executives with responsibility for data security and privacy and a profound warning for CXO’s and board-executives in companies with responsibility for protecting Personally Identifiable Information, (PII). The recommendations offered in this ICIT report can help consumers and organizations alike mitigate some of the emerging attack vectors and regain a semblance of control over their identity, sensitive information and…