For many people, the news over the last few weeks raises a lot of questions and provides many lessons in how to protect your accounts and data.
It is easy to focus on the sensationalism of the hacks from Equifax, Deloitte or privacy concerns over new U.S. immigration monitoring rules. The important question to ask yourself is: could these hacks happen to you? Let's find out.
Here is a list of the top four recent hacks and the questions you need to answer to find out if you are also at risk.
To keep things simple, we will list each of the recent Cyber Attacks and explain how these attacks can be avoided. At the end, we will have a simple question to ask your security administrator (or you could ask yourself) to see if you could avoid it.
- Deloitte Hack/2-Factor Authentication: This one is simple to follow: Deloitte failed to protect Administrator passwords to their Cloud email system, leaving about six months where they saw access from an unauthorized third-party. What most people do not realize is that without email encryption, anyone with Administrator access can impersonate a mailbox, meaning they can read all emails of any user. With a few simple tools, those mailboxes can be impersonated by an application to look for sensitive content and copy it.
Question: Do you use two-step verification for your mailbox? Sign into Gmail, Office365 or Outlook Mail and see. If so, can you detect if impersonation is used? Or who has access to your mailboxes and from where?
- Equifax/Apache Struts Vulnerability: The Apache Struts Vulnerability leaves systems out on the web open for an attacker to compromise. Equifax saw an exploit of this vulnerability that led to the loss of millions of records containing the personal information of many North Americans. Even worse than the technical component was the response and mishandling by senior staff and the lack of legal requirements to disclose in Ontario and other provinces in Canada. They got hacked, they knew it, they dumped stock, and did not need to tell anyone (in certain provinces).
Question: If you use Apache Struts, are you patched? If someone was to breach your environment, how would you know? Who would you call?
- Sonic Foods/Advanced Malware: In September Sonic Foods, with over 3,600 restaurants in the U.S., had a data breach and saw thousands of credit cards flood the black market. They immediately engaged forensic experts and law enforcement.
Question: If your organization was hit with advanced malware, what protections would stop it from infecting machines and sending sensitive data out? If someone was using your credit card or accounts on the blackmarket, how would you know?
- Internet Explorer Address Bar Vulnerability: Disclosed as part of last week's "Patch Tuesday", Microsoft disclosed that Internet Explorer (if you still use it) had a vulnerability allowing attackers to copy search terms from the browser. While sensitive information rarely goes into the search, bar it does beg the question:
If someone copied your keystrokes, how are your critical systems or personal applications protected from someone using these passwords?
Maybe you have captured some of these protections, for your organization or personally, as opportunities to enhance your security.
Most of these are free to apply and fairly easy to implement.
The reason they are not is because security teams, if you have them, do not continuously test and monitor for these types of problems. Instead, they focus on virus and firewall alerts in a weak configuration aimed at stopping vulnerability scans or known malware.
How can IntelliGO help my organization?
IntelliGO can help you focus your team's energy where it matters most: protecting systems from unauthorized access and continuously testing your defenses. This helps to detect and respond more effectively in comparison to buying and implementing security products or patching programs alone.