Dec 29

Report Said Most Enterprises Don’t Correctly Protect Sensitive Data

Trustwave found surprising data security trend in its 2014 risk status reports, which included the fact that most companies don’t have mature approach to control and track sensitive data.

 

For data security issues, enterprises have high degree of awareness of legal responsibility but they don’t figure out how to control risks by tracking sensitive data. The report interviewed 476 IT professionals in more than 50 countries, most of which were in the United States and the United Kingdom. According to the report, 63% of enterprises don’t have mature approach to control and track sensitive data.

 

“This means that many enterprises don’t know what their sensitive data is and where it is, who can access it and its mobile location,” senior vice president of Trustwave, Phil Smith, said, “This type of information is the first step of building security strategy.”

 

If enterprises don’t know what their sensitive data is and where the data is, then how do enterprises protect the data? Smith said the first part of risk assessment is to identify the location of enterprise’s sensitive data. Enterprises should know what sensitive data is, where it is and its movement and who has right to access it.

 

The report also found that while 58% of enterprises use third party program to manage sensitive data, but 48% of enterprises actually don’t deploy third party management program.

 

“Many companies (especially retail) outsource payment process to third party vendors, letting them access sensitive payment information,” Smith said, “however, they don’t know how these providers protect their data.”

 

Secure payment processing issue is particularly important, especially in 2014 so many retail data leak issues occurred. Smith recommends enterprises to communicate with their third party providers, so that each party knows what their responsibilities are in data protection. In addition, he recommends that enterprise should build secure requirements in the contract with third party provider.

 

Although enterprises may not protect all data, but Trustwave’s survey found that enterprises had high degree of awareness of the legal responsibilities. 60% of enterprises said they knew their legal responsibility of protecting sensitive data. The survey found that only 21% of enterprises didn’t have any training in secure awareness, which means that most enterprises actually had some forms of security training programs.

 

In addition, most respondents indicated that the deployment of control over BYOD was already in place. Only 38% of respondents indicated that their companies didn’t have any control on BYOD.

 

Smith said: “There are still a lot of companies do not have security policies and procedures foucus on BYOD.”

 

Patch management is an important part of corporate security, but the study found that 58% of enterprises didn’t have mature patch management process. Smith pointed out that in many cases, enterprises focus on deploying more strict access control, intrusion prevention/detection equipment and other perimeter security, but put patch repair and existing system maintenance on lower priority.

 

Another important finding of the survey is that the board of directors highly involves in enterprise security. 45% of enterprises have the board of directors or executive-level management involving in security affairs. Security is a top-down problem.

 

“All sectors of enterprises should consider security as an important issue, from IT professionals to non-technical staff and management,” Smith said, “C-level executives should not only ask their IT team whether our data is safe? It should also be asked how our data is protected? What control measures is deployed? “

Dec 15

Nearly one-third SMEs don’t emphasize on data secure backup

According to the survey conducted by the Internet and Mobile Security Organization AVGTechnologies, most companies hadn’t noted real value of their data. The result of the test showed that 37% of small business manager spent more time on tidying up desks and ordering new business cards rather than doing backup for data. This survey was give to 500 U.S. small businesses managers, and the result showed that although most (75%) businesses relied on automatic backup system, about a quarter (24%) of businesses didn’t require employees to back up data at least every week. However, 30% of respondents thought that more than half of their data were critical data.

 

Given that small business claimed that more than half of the data were sensitive data, the loss of employees’ mobile devices should attract more attention. In fact, about half of small businesses said they had experienced the loss of mobile devices. Interestingly, the survey showed that many small businesses management staff didn’t think employees’ mobile devices contained a lot of sensitive data. They cared more about the security of data transferred to cloud. When asked about cloud-based backup, 64% of small and middle enterprise said security was the issue they cared about most.

 

And the results of the survey can be concluded as below:

 

1. Compared with backup data in UK (22%) and US (21%), a substantial proportion of small and middle businesses often spend more time on tidying up desks and ordering new business cards, which is not even the most conventional computer-related work. 43% of UL companies and 53% of US companies said they spent more time changing passwords.

 

2. When it comes to cloud backup, security is still a most concerned issue. Other key issues include the cost, data recovery and lack of control.

 

3. Most small businesses have not experienced mobile device data loss, but they are approaching (51% in UK, 53% in US).

 

4. Most SMEs (62% in UK, 66% in United States) are confident that they can prevent data loss when employees leave the company.

 

5. Most small businesses (59% in UK, 54% in the US) still don’t require employees to back up daily. A considerable number of backup data (68% UK, 75% of the United States) is operated by IT automation systems.

 

6. When it comes to mobile device data, only 1-10% of employees of about one-third of SMEs (32% in UK, 34% in the US) go out of office at least once a week. On the other hand, mobile devices are increasingly used to work, and only a small number of companies said 80% -100% of their staff go out of office one day a week.

 

7. When the device is lost or stolen, 39% of UK businesses and 41% of US companies priority is to ensure that data cannot be viewed by an unauthorized third party. That’s why you need to protect files in drive with password and configure different users’ permission to content in the drive.

Dec 01

Ten measures to protect small and middle business data security(1)

Ensure recoverability of data

To do backup of existing data has been one of the key tasks of every business organization, only stupid administrators will take this kind of things as something superfluous. However, according to our experience, many enterprises don’t adopt extra measures to regularly check backup content.

Data disaster prevention mechanism

One reason why small and middle enterprises always suffer loss is the lack of forward-looking. Most of small and middle enterprises never make up adequate precautions for fires, floods and other natural disasters. Here what I must emphasize is that it’s necessary for all enterprises to store backup data in separate locations that is far from infrastructure.

Judge enterprise tolerance to data loss

Although in theory, it’s certainly more scientific to do full backup for all data. However, from the actual operations, all the information is often not necessary to be strictly protected. Companies should first determine themselves what type of data or which level of data loss can be tolerable. After a thorough understanding of their situation, we can begin modifying the backup system, letting data that is not needed disappears from backup list.

Estimate how long the daily data persists after losing data support

How long does your business persist when the enterprise doesn’t access specific data? Making sure this point can help enterprise determine how to make up restore time object (RTO). At the same time, it can help you easier establish suitable data maintenance system and hardware architectures。

Ensure that the backup system is secure and complies with regulations

The backup copy should be placed in specific location, the entire process must strictly follow relevant management system. Under possible circumstances, try to use data encryption technology to protect enterprise business information.

Nov 24

Tips for Enterprise Data Protection

Classify Data Security

Over time, enterprise data will gradually increase, administrators tend to get a headache on amount of data’s backup. In fact, we need to classify data and then choose different backup methods to back up data.

Enhance administrator’s data protection awareness

Employees lack awareness of enterprise data protection, which results in enterprise data leak. Companies should train staff awareness of data protection, rationally assign permissions to administrators, strengthen enterprise personnel management system, which often yield twice the result with half the effort.

Prevent security problems caused by data overflow

Since the data grow rapidly, administrators lack awareness of that, lots of enterprise data result in insufficient disk storage space. Administrators must pay attention to status of hard drive storage space, and add hard drives when it needs them.

Pay attention to backup frequency

Some companies do unreasonable frequency on data backup. The frequency of backup also affects enterprise data security. Administrators should set proper backup frequency based on their enterprise business situation.

Disk temperature should not be ignored

The temperature of the disk is often ignored, while at most time disk temperature can well reflect the storage system stability, storage situation. A good administrator can predict disk operating status based on disk temperature.

Genuine software is essential

Some enterprises tend to utilize pirated software to build enterprise database in order to save costs. The platform based on pirate software is vulnerable to hackers, which will result in data loss. Companies should buy genuine software, and provide absolute protection on the first layer for enterprise.

Critical data adopts encryption solution

Data security risks are ubiquitous. Some classified database, business data should prevent illegal access to illegal access, modify and copy, etc. Data encryption is the most widely used, and most cost-effective and relatively most reliable method. Data encryption is an effective means to protect data from being stolen or modified in the storage and delivery process.

Nov 10

Three methods of data backup

Every company now highly emphasize on data security, for example, company establish information management department to better manage company internal data security.

To protect data, one of key factors you need to consider is data backup. Backup can be divided into three levels:

Hardware-level backup: hardware-level backup refers to using hardware redundancy to protect system’s continuous operations, for example, disk mirror and Dual Fault-Tolerant. If the main hardware gets damaged, backup hardware can immediately take over the work, this approach can effectively prevent hardware failure.

But this solution also has flaws; it can’t prevent data logical corruption. When logical corruption occurs, hardware backup will copy the error again, it can’t really protect data. The goal of hardware backup is actually to ensure system continue running when failure occurs, which is more likely hardware fault tolerance.

Software-level backup: software-level backup refers to saving system data in other software, so that when error occurs you can restore system to backup status. Since this backup solution should be fulfilled with software, it’s called software-level backup.

But this solution takes much time on backup and restore. This solution can prevent logical corruption, because backup media is separate from computer system, error won’t be rewrote in backup media, which means it will help restore data as long as it can save enough history data. But this is not suitable to companies that need to quickly restore data.

Manual backup: Manual backup is the most initial but also the most simple and effective method.

But if you use manual mode to restore data, it will spend more time than using software-level backup.

When choosing backup solution, you need to consider the importance level of the data first. For more important data, choose multiple solutions to back up. In addition, use data protection software to encrypt important data.

Oct 27

JPMorgan confirmed releasing 8.3 million users information, hackers want data rather than money

In early September, the JPMorgan data leak even was found; FBI and NSA were both involved in the investigation. At that time, according to Bloomberg reports, data leak occurred in early August, hacker used 0day vulnerability in bank website to launch attacks, FBI considered this is an attack launched by a national hacker organization according to the complexity of the attack.

CISO is a “temporary” worker

In HomeDepot event, we noted that HomeDepot hired a security manager with criminal record; and in this JPMorgan data leak event, the “temporary worker” – its chief information security officer (CISO) is deeply associated with this event.

When hacker invaded the network of JPMorgan, the CISO of JPMorgan – Greg Rattray just took office, he even wasn’t familiar with his parking space; before coming to JPMorgan Rattray assumed the Air Force Information Warfare commander, and before Rattray taking office, JPMorgan former CSIO Anthony Belfiore had resigned earlier this year, during the period, Anish Bhimani served concurrently as CSIO.

Data is more valuable than money

It’s reported that hackers found vulnerabilities in JPMorgan bank computer software and exploited them, attacking over 90 servers, but the survey showed that hackers are more interested in personal information than money. Although bank account password and other crucial information didn’t leak, but just like the impacts caused by other large-scale personal information leak events, users of JPMorgan now are facing the threats of spear phishing and social engineering attacks, for hackers mastered detailed private data of a enormous number of users.

Chief Technology Officer of RedSeal Ph.D. Mik Lioyd believes that in JPMorgan data leak event, hackers were busy stealing users’ information and even had no time to steal money, which indicates that today’s cybercrime group fancy the value of users’ data (user data exchange market and underground processing industry chain have been matured). Just like the army commander is more emphasized on Battlefield intelligence than weaponry.

Difficult to remedy

Relevant officials involved in the investigation said JP Morgan need to take at least several months to ferret out thousands of software applications and confer with technology providers about authorization contract. New York pointed out that this would give hackers a long time window through which they can further attack JPMorgan internal system undetected vulnerabilities.

JPMorgan data leak event also sent by far the most serious security warning to global enterprises: although the most high-edged security response technology and processes are inadequate to deal with automatic coordinated attacks. Enterprises need to do automatic analysis on entire end to end network access path and use security tools to timely detect any wrong configuration and anomalies caused by network complexity.

JPMorgan said they would continue to focus on detection and financial fraud events related to this data leak event, and if customers could timely detect and inform account unauthorized transaction, JPMorgan would bear the loss of customers.

You can’t stop focusing on the security of your account information and other private information stored in your service providers as well as on your own computer. Information and data leak issues occur in anytime anywhere, timely and comprehensive data and file protection is necessary and imperative.

Sep 22

Ten tips for USB drive data leak prevention

USB storage devices are popular because of its small size and portability. Even in the enterprises they are often used for data temporary copy and share. However, precisely because it brings convenience, it also brings many risks in the aspect of data security; especially in the field of enterprise- class, as many data and information are highly classified, once they are leaked or breached, the losses caused by them might be incomparable.

So when you are using USB storage devices, how to protect enterprise data? Here, we give you the top ten tips.

1. Manage authorized devices

Software that’s responsible for devices management can help IT staffs to track USB devices connected to the network, so as to understand what data is being transferred, when the data s used. If the IT staffs can’t monitor devices’ dynamic information, sensitive data is likely to be copied or accessed by outside unauthorized staffs.

2. Block unauthorized devices

When not dealing with official business, some staffs still use USB devices to access or copy data. If the data and information is confidential, please disable all ports of unauthorized external devices. Meanwhile, strictly prevent staffs using unauthorized devices to connect to the company computer.

3. Make up USB encryption plans

Make up and implement an encryption scheme. This plan should include how to protect flash memory devices and their data transfer process, specify who can access to the company data and make up a response plan when the device get lost.

4. Provide company-approved devices

It’s necessary to not only tell staffs that they need to use encrypted drives and set password, but also provide company-approved devices. If enterprise can’t provide secure USB device and its execution policy, staffs will often adopt unsecure practices.

5. Adopt appropriate secure level

Enterprises often need to seek balance among cost control, security and productivity. Find the right secure level according to company’s budget. If you do not need military secure level, you do not need to spend too much money.

6. User training and education

Make employees understand how to safely use a variety of devices. Companies often require using secure devices, while there are still data leak incidents, which is mainly because staffs don’t use these devices, for they feel difficult to use. It’s a must to let employees fully be aware of the consequences of not using secure devices.

7. Clarify secure policy

Making up policies is only the first step, but it’s very important. Define individuals who can download data into secure drives, and create a limitation that only allows these users to access. To clarify who to obtain these devices, and how to place these devices and which type of password should be used to protect them.

8. Encrypt data

The confidential data is sent via emails or removable storage media transmission, they should be password protected before users to use them. If data is not encrypted in advance, attackers can bypass secure control and directly access these data.

9. Protect endpoints

Even the most careful users will connect infected USB to the company computer. The latest anti-virus software is critical because it ensures access networks are secure. When the USB is connected to network, it requires scanning them as soon as possible. For older Windows computers, they need to install patches to disable autorun.

10. Disable unsecure devices

A report of Ponemon institute found that even if the company will provide approved secure devices, 72% of employees still used meeting and trade exhibition drive devices, while these drives tend to spread malicious software.

Sep 09

Strife openly and secretly behind data encryption

In the information age, the U.S. National Security Council (NSA) almost becomes popular in the whole Internet. Not because they are credited with maintaining American security but because they rip off information, which makes them become enemy of users who strike to maintain network and freedom of network information security.

NSA has the world’s leading IT and personnel, meanwhile they are supported by U.S. government, which make them unscrupulous in the information world and the Internet.

According to “New York Times” online edition reports, a few years ago, the United States National Security Agency (hereinafter referred to as” NSA “) had implanted back door system into a International encryption technology that allows the United States federal to breach any data that was protected by this encryption technology.

There were reports that in 2006 the National Bureau of Standards and Technology helped develop an international encryption technology to assist countries and all walks of life to prevent their computer systems were hacked. But another United States federal agency — NSA—had stealthily implanted a backdoor system into the technology without many users knowing it, so that federal agents can decipher any data encrypted by this technology.

According to the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, NSA has attempted to infiltrate each set of encryption systems, and often try to use the easiest means to achieve this goal. As modern encryption technology is extremely difficult to decipher, even with powerful supercomputers of the institution, it often failed to decipher. Therefore, NSA prefers to cooperate with major software developers and encryption technology licensors to secretly gain access permission to the system.

According to the news from “New York Times”, “The Guardian” and news site ProPublica, NSA can now access the code that’s originally used to protect commercial banking system, trade secrets, medical records and e-mail and Internet chat. Sometimes, NSA has forced some companies to give them access permissions.

These backdoors and particular access permissions are another evidence of the United States intelligence community’s ultra vires. Today, more and more businesses and individuals store most secret data on the cloud storage service, hence they need to be assured that their data is secure, but this relationship is mostly based on trust. Once users know the encryption system is sabotage, they will shake their confidence in these systems, which may have adverse impact on business activities.

People were originally thought that individuals, businesses and government agencies’ privacy in the general communications will be protected, but the fact that NSA implanted backdoor backdoor system might make such illusions shattered.

NSA tends to assure the U.S. government that they would decipher the communication or data that is suspected of illegal individuals or businesses. But weakening citizens’ ability of using encryption technology is obvious a practice of ultra vires.

New Jersey Democratic Congressman Rush Holt has proposed a bill, banning the government requiring software developers to implant backdoor in encryption software system. Outsiders believe that the bill should receive the unanimous support of the U.S. Congress. At the same time, a number of Internet companies including Google and Facebook are developing a new encryption system that is difficult for NSA to penetrate. These companies attempt to show an attitude that they are not secret partner of intelligence agency.

Aug 25

Top 10 Security Issues Revealed in 2014 Blackhat Conference (2)

6. Insecure family router

In-Q-Tel’s CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) Dan Geer said in hacker conference that the home router was most likely to be invaded. These routers could be easily found through a network scan, which usually contained the default login information, and most people never thought of upgrading their router firmware to the latest version. Perhaps in 2014 family network security will be a hotspot for hacker attack.

7. NAS with numerous loopholes

Storage devices connected to the network even have more loopholes. A security analyst at an Independent Security Evaluators agency Jacob Holcomn said the topic at this year’s hacker conference theme is NAS network storage.

He said there’s no one device that he cannot get, at least half of the device he could intrude without authentication. Through invading NAV devices, attackers could hijack other devices’ traffic on the same network, using the sniffing technology similar to ARP. “Jacob Holcomb said in a hacker conference.

More alarming is that, loopholes Jacob Holcomb showed in hacker conference had been submitted to the NAS manufacturers, but these loopholes had not been fixed yet. And the NAS patches usually take a few months to reach users.

8. Network management procedure

Do you remember Carrier IQ that develops smart phone hidden tracking program and the chaos caused by it? In fact the original intention of this phone app was just monitoring the phone flow, and it’s just a network performance diagnose tool. However, phones that install this diagnostic tool are vulnerable to attacks. Just like Mathew Solnik and Marc Blanchou from said in hacker conference, this vulnerability could be used to execute remote code, and bypass the local protection mechanism of operating system.

The researchers said that about 70% to 90% of mobile phones sold worldwide were equipped with device management program. Some other devices, such as notebook computers, wireless devices and networking equipment hotspots, etc., were facing risks from the “Open Mobile Alliance Device Management Protocol” (OMA-DM) contained loopholes.

9. Cheap picklock

Qualsy company’s researchers Silvio Cesare demonstrated how to use cheap and easy to get components to patchwork a tool, and then use it to get a car with smart system.

Cesare said this tool can be used to open the car door, and opened the trunk. But it takes implementers 2 hours to stay in the vicinity of the car, so now the car thieves still not abandon the rowbar and turn to computers.

10. Invade Hotel

The loophole mentioned by Security consultant Jesus Molina in hacker conference is more practical. Molina had lived in five-star hotels St. Regis Shenzhen, China Shenzhen, at that time Molina cracked iPad app “ digital butler” the hotel offered for customers through reverse engineering and used protocol vulnerabilities in KNX / IP router successfully control the hall way lights. In addition to lighting, television, temperature, music in room, and even the window-blinds in more than 200 rooms in the hotel were all in control. More exaggerated, the hacker who controlled all of this even had no need stay in China.

If you need more information about individual data protection and enterprise file management, you can visit Kakasoft.

Aug 11

Top 10 Security Issues Revealed in 2014 Blackhat Conference(1)

Hackers always present their amazing skills to the public, from invading aircraft code to monitoring surveillance cameras, and then to using any USB device as attacking tool.

Even though some of the security issues are sensational in theory, but they are pioneers that uncover security risks in Internet world.

1. Quietly deadly BadUSB

A researcher in Berlin “Security Research Laboratory” claimed that they had developed conceptual tools to attack USB device firmware. When the infected USB device is plugged into the computer, it will disguise as keyboard to download malicious software.

Since most USB device manufacturers haven’t taken any measures to protect the firmware, and anti-malicious software won’t scan firmware malicious behaviors. So theoretically this vulnerability can spread malicious software owing to hard to find and difficult to prevent, and imagine how many USB devices are interacting with computers over the world, we know how terrible this vulnerability is. Fortunately, in reality we have not found attacks based on this vulnerability.

2. Invade aircraft

The consequence of another conceptual attack is more terrible. A researcher in the field of human-computer interaction, Ruben Santamarta claimed that hackers can invade aircraft satellite communication system via Wi-Fi and entertainment systems, thereby allowing the attacker to affect aircraft navigation and safety systems.

The satellite communication system manufacturer said in an interview with Reuters, the possibility of such attack and harm caused by the attack are very small, but they also said they had begun to fix loopholes.

3. Being monitored surveillance cameras

Are your surveillance cameras monitored by other people?

Two security researchers opened a $ 200 Dropcam camera, wanting to see how it works internally. It turned out that there are many vulnerabilities that hackers can make use of them to not only browse the video camera in the store but also upload to third-party video and forge to be taken by other machine. In short, hackers can hijack and take over the camera’s video stream.

Fortunately, there’s a significant adverse condition to implement this terrible security vulnerability: an attacker need physically access to your Dropcam camera. In other words, if an attacker can strut into your room and access to your camera, the security issue on your company or your room is more serious than that of surveillance camera.

4. Tor crisis

Tor provides anonymous access between the source node to the destination node for the user. However, a researcher Alexander Volynkin at Carnegie Mellon University said that with minimal cost to break the anonymity of Tor network is very possible. However, the specific implementation details hadn’t been announced yet.

However, urged on by Carnegie Mellon University, Volynkin abruptly canceled his speech at the hackers conference. Meanwhile, recently Tor’s operators also discovered a set of unidentified malicious relay node, Tor tries to decrypt the user’s identity. (Reference: peeled onion skin, deep Inside the Tor network)

5. Symantec Endpoint Protection loophole

Renowned security expert Mati Aharoni discovered three vulnerabilities in Symantec Endpoint Protection tool. These vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to launch high-level access to the victim’s computer. In other words, hackers can invade your computer through security software. Would not it be a very ironic thing?

Of course, Symantec has started repairing the vulnerabilities!

The last five vulnerabilities will be revealed in next blog post, please stay tuned!

If you want to know information about personal or enterprise file protection solutions, please visit: http://www.kakasoft.com.