Tag Archives: GDPR

Helping Firms Secure their Digital Transformation at Cloud Expo Europe

by Ian Heritage

The quest for competitive advantage through digital innovation has hit the mainstream. Organisations across the globe are turning to agile development practices, cloud and mobile platforms, smart devices and more to drive profits and get closer to their customers. Yet going digital means new risks, a larger corporate attack surface and more work for stretched IT teams.

Finding a solution to these challenges is not easy, but it is essential to the success of crucial digital transformation projects. That’s why our Principal Security Strategist, Bharat Mistry, will be offering some guidance for IT leaders at this year’s Cloud Expo Europe in London next month. His presentations will cover security for CI/CD environments and the value of Managed Detection and Response (MDR). Continue reading

Why Google’s £44m GDPR fine should be a wake-up call for organisations everywhere

by Ian Heritage

We’ve been waiting some time for European GDPR regulators to flex their muscles since the legislation came into force at the end of May 2018. Well, now they have, after Google was handed a €50m (£44m) fine in France. Although this particular case revolved around privacy and transparency over how consumers’ information is used, rather than data security, it clearly serves as a warning notice for firms, wherever they are.

In light of the judgement, IT and data protection teams should be redoubling their compliance efforts. As we predicted in December, a maximum 4% fine is still on the cards for this year, and the next one could be for a major data breach. Continue reading

Latest Sextortion Campaign Highlights Impact of Poor Corporate Security

by Bharat Mistry

The UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre is warning UK netizens of a new sextortion campaign in which the attackers threaten to publish an intimate webcam video of their victims. They make the threat more realistic by including a genuine password that the victim has used in the past. While user education is the most effective way to counter this kind of opportunistic digital blackmail, the case highlights yet again the potential downstream impact of corporate breaches.

By improving enterprise security standards across the board and migrating away from password-based systems, organisations can not only reduce data breach costs but also the knock-on effects of PII compromise that may haunt customers for years.

A new take
Online extortion is nothing new, in fact it’s what has made ransomware such a popular money-maker for cyber-criminals. But this campaign is slightly different in that it includes the victim’s password in the subject line. Action Fraud claimed to have contacted several of the 110+ victims who reported the unsolicited scam email and they confirmed the credential to be recent. It’s more than likely that they were bought on a dark web site, after originally being stolen from an online provider.

Having grabbed the recipient’s attention by posting the valid password, the extorter then claims to have recorded a webcam video of the individual watching pornography, and to have used malware to harvest all of their social media contacts. Users are required to pay $2,900 in Bitcoin within 24 hours.

The email concludes:

“If I do not receive the BitCoins, I will definately send out your video recording to all of your contacts including close relatives, co-workers, and many others. Nevertheless, if I receive the payment, I’ll destroy the video immidiately. If you need evidence, reply with “Yes!” and I will send your video to your 10 friends. It is a non-negotiable offer, therefore do not waste my time and yours by responding to this message.”

What can we learn?
Action Fraud is quite rightly urging netizens not to panic, not to pay up and to always respond to any unsolicited message like this critically. It also pays to cover up your webcam, just in case. While this sextortion campaign is clearly a scam, previous ones have used malware to genuinely record individuals via their webcams. In fact, it was estimated in 2016 that thousands of Brits are likely caught out by such attacks each year, with at least four suicides linked to the trend.

But pulling back even further, this particular scam campaign is made possible in part via breached credentials. One could argue that if organisations worked harder to secure customer data in the first place, as the GDPR demands, there would be fewer opportunities for follow-on blackmail and fraud. That means choosing a trusted partner to provide security at every layer of your infrastructure, from endpoint to web/email gateway, network and server. Trend Micro’s cross-generational blend of cyber-defence tools is optimised to offer protection where you need it most from the huge range of modern threats.

Best practice security today also dictates moving away from static password-based systems for your employees and customers and towards multi-factor authentication. With no passwords to steal, breaches become harder to carry out and the resulting impact on users diminishes.

Scams like this one are just the tip of the iceberg and we could see an escalation in similar blackmail attempts using breached PII as a highly effective social engineering tactic. The GDPR should be your guide here. Only with improved security processes backed up with state-of-the-art technologies can organisations minimise opportunities for the cyber-criminals and reduce the risk of long-term post-breach brand damage.

Data Protection Set to Loom Large Over Infosecurity Europe 2018

by Bharat Mistry

This year’s Infosecurity Europe will be the first to take place under the new data protection regime brought in by the long-awaited EU GDPR. It’s going to be interesting to see how much coverage the new law gets. I’d wager, more than you’d think, because compliance doesn’t end on 25 May — for many firms, it will only start once the reality of the new legislation hits home. As we were reminded this week by a £120,000 fine handed down to Greenwich University, the regulator will come down hard on organisations that fail on cybersecurity. Continue reading