Monthly Cloud Security Roundup: 4.1 Billion Records Exposed, AI in Cybersecurity, iOS Jailbreaking, and More
Each month, we’ll bring you some of the most compelling cloud and Salesforce security-related stories from the last four weeks. In this post, we discuss Facebook’s new data blocking tool, AI in cybersecurity, the state of data breaches in 2019, and more.
With a total of 3,813 breaches from January 1 through June 30, the average day in the first half of 2019 saw more than 20 breaches, according to RiskBased Security’s 2019 MidYear QuickView Data Breach Report. 4.1 billion records were compromised as a result of the more than 3,800 disclosed breaches – and 3.2 billion of those records were exposed in just eight breaches. The largest targets were email addresses and passwords, which were exposed in 70% and 64% of the incidents, respectively. According to the report, the number of breaches in the first half of 2019 was 54% higher than the same time in 2018, and three of these incidents have made it in the list of the ten largest breaches of all time.
“Looking over the first six months of 2019, it is hard to be optimistic on the outlook for the year. The number of breaches is up and the number of records exposed remains stubbornly high. Despite best efforts and awareness among business leaders and defenders, data breaches continue to take place at an alarming rate.” – Inga Goddijn, Executive Vice President, RiskBased Security
NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), which is known for its extensive work in the cybersecurity industry, is giving its blog a makeover. Cybersecurity Insights: a NIST blog will expand upon the former NIST newsfeed, proving deeper insights and more topics of interest to subscribers. Readers will still receive progress updates on NIST projects, but the change aims to expand the focus and discussion around areas of cybersecurity that matter most to industry professionals. The new and improved blog will cover topics including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, privacy framework, the internet of things, and more.
Financial organizations’ online interactions with customers are leading to a wider variety of security threats. According to ZeroFOX’s “Financial Services Digital Threat Report 2019,” cyberthreats against financial services are up 56% from one year ago. After reviewing almost three billion pieces of content, researchers found almost nine million security events over a twelve-month period. Why the dramatic increase? As organizations in the financial industry embrace mobile apps, online portals, social media, and other methods of customer engagement, they aren’t always taking the necessary precautions to safeguard the digital platforms. With a low price and a low entry barrier, these technologies are easier for cybercriminals to exploit. For more details, explore ZeroFOX’s key findings and download a copy of the full report.
After much ado regarding privacy concerns, Facebook has developed a tool that blocks the social network from collecting users’ data. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a “clear history” tool over a year ago and it has arrived in the form of “Off-Facebook Activity.” This feature blocks Facebook from collecting your information on external websites and apps. Users can see what activity Facebook is tracking externally via “like” buttons and can turn off tracking. By default, the tracking options will remain as they are now – on and always watching. If you turn off tracking, you won’t see less ads on Facebook; rather, you won’t see as many targeted ads based on your browsing history.
This tool is currently available for Facebook users in South Korea, Ireland, and Spain. There’s no set release date for other countries like the US yet, but Facebook has commented that they hope to release it in the coming months.
After a massive data breach was exposed last month, Capital One cybersecurity staff report that they made concerns known to the company prior to the hack. Anonymous employees said they spoke with internal auditors, senior executives, and HR about the high turnover rate in the cybersecurity department. Another flagged concern was the delay in installing software designed to detect hacks.
Insiders familiar with the cybersecurity unit at Capital One reported that one third of the unit’s employees turned over last year after a new CISO took the helm in 2017.
Apple’s iPhone software update iOS 12.3 fixed a vulnerability that left phones open to code execution and privilege-escalation attacks. However, upon releasing the newest software, iOS 12.4, the update undid the patch from the previous iOS version. The vulnerability, which may affect iPhone 5s through iPhone 8/X, iPad Air, and sixth generation iPod Touch devices, enables jailbreaking on certain Apple gadgets. When Apple customers “jailbreak” their device, they install software that essentially breaks open the system, allowing them to modify settings that were previously restricted.
Why are jailbroken devices a concern? When users go beyond a manufacturer’s limitations on the apps and code that devices can run, it creates security vulnerabilities – particularly malware and spyware. Private data including phone numbers, photos, emails, and app data such as bank information could be exposed through this vulnerability, so iPhone users should exhibit caution when downloading apps from the Apple Store if they’ve upgraded to iOS 12.4.
Study says for better business cybersecurity, choose AI
Capgemini Research Institute’s “Reinventing Cybersecurity with Artificial Intelligence” report demonstrated a strong trend of firms adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to strengthen their cybersecurity posture. Nearly 60% of cybersecurity analysts are overwhelmed by the alerts and notifications they receive on a daily basis. AI can help filter the alerts, saving analysts time and effort. This not only leads to more satisfied employees, but a stronger security program as well – staff can devote the time and resources necessary for investigating legitimate security concerns instead of drowning in false positives. The study found that, overall, 75% of firms are experimenting with AI to help them manage cyber risks with the hope of reducing costs while enhancing security through AI-based automation. Prior to 2019, 20% of organizations were using AI for cybersecurity, while nearly two thirds now plan to fully implement AI by 2020.
“Organizations are facing an unparalleled volume and complexity of cyber threats and have woken up to the importance of AI as the first line of defense[…]it is critical for organizations to increase investment and focus on the business benefits that AI can bring in terms of bolstering their cybersecurity.” – Geert van der Linden, Cybersecurity Business Lead, Capgemini Group