Leaked employee passwords open up Fortune 500 companies to hackers

Leaked employee passwords

 

It’s one thing when your iCloud account with personal photos gets hacked. It’s another when your Fortune 500 company has a data breach because your office credentials were leaked online.

At 221 of the Fortune 500 companies, Fortune magazine’s list of the the top 500 U.S. public corporations ranked by gross revenue, employees’ credentials are posted publicly online for hackers to steal and reuse in cyberattacks, according to new research from the web intelligence firm Recorded Future.

Corporations, especially highly sensitive targets like Fortune 500 companies, spend a great deal on securing their networks against hackers, but that could be for naught if an employee carelessly uses his office credentials to sign up for, say, a gaming forum.

The sensitive information can be found on forums and text repositories like Pastebin, which are fertile ground for username and password dumps. Researchers at Recorded Future scoured approximately 600,000 websites for credentials posted between Jan. 1 and Oct. 8, 2014. During their analysis, they found at least one username/password combination at 44% of the Fortune 500 companies, leaving those companies vulnerable to hackers who could use the data to break into networks or mount phishing and social engineering attacks, Recorded Future CEO and cofounder Christopher Ahlberg told Mashable.

These credential dumps are outside the companies’ control, Ahlberg said. The data likely come from third party sites — not from breaches of companies’ servers — where an employee used a corporate email to sign up for something. In the past few years, for example, hackers have breached websites and services like Adobe and Forbes.

One caveat is that there is no way to know whether the password used on a third-party site matches the employee’s password used on his corporate account. In other words, Fortune 500 employees’ information may be posted online — but it doesn’t necessarily that information will lead to a successful compromise.

“It’s a coin flip whether or not these credentials taken from third party sites are valid,” Scott Donnelly, the lead researcher on the report, told Mashable. “But when there’s 10 or 20 from a particular company, then odds are you’ve got one that’s valid.”

Below, the breakdown of the 221 companies listed in the report:

Leaked employee passwords open up Fortune 500 companies to hackers

companies

But having an employee’s username and password isn’t necessarily enough — hackers need to know where to use them. In some cases, Recorded Future also found that the webmail login pages of some utility companies are easily searchable on Google, which makes those companies even more vulnerable if an employee’s credentials are compromised.

The report doesn’t name names — either of companies or individuals — and Recorded Future has not notified any of the companies yet, according to Ahlberg and Donnelly. The goal of their research, they said, is to show that big companies are not immune to huge password leaks.

We’ve seen evidence of that lately.

Two weeks ago, a hacker claimed to have dumped 7 million Dropbox usernames and credentials. In a separate instance in early September, 5 million usernames and passwords appeared on a Russian forum (that information likely came from various earlier hacks, though). And in August, a security firm claimed to have found $1.2 billion credentials stolen by Russian hackers, though the firm’s report has been contested.

The issue with these dumps, even when they don’t involve services like Gmail or Dropbox, is the same: the danger of password reuse. If you always reuse the same password, a hacker doesn’t need to breach Google to obtain your Gmail password; instead, he can get it from your Fantasy Football forum. That’s why Facebook announced last week that it has been actively scouring sites that host dumped credentials to notify users if their password had been compromised.

Ahlberg and Donnelly warn that even more companies have probably been compromised, but those employees’ credentials have not been posted publicly.

“We have a pretty good coverage of the underbelly of the web, but these are just the public posts,” Donnelly said. “We’re highlighting how easy it is for somebody to just open the door and exploit a company because the information is sitting out there. But most certainly, there’s information that’s yet to be published.”


SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

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  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://mashable.com/

Healthcare finance tips for safeguarding against cyberattacks

cyber-attack caption

Premera hack puts renewed focus on securing sensitive healthcare info.

As Tuesday’s news about the Premera Blue Cross hack shows, healthcare organizations are vulnerable to cyberattacks, and the fix can be costly.

“The average Fortune 500 company budgets $44 million a year for security, including networking and all other aspects,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman of the Ponemon Institute, a research center focused on data security. “(Most) hospitals have less than a million to budget on cyber security.”

Already, at least two class action lawsuits have been brought against insurer Anthem, which saw a major data breach in January affect 80 million people. There’s also the cost to the health plan’s reputation and the logistics of notifying 80 million customers, Ponemon said. It’s still unknown what will come after 11 million people’s information was accesed in the Premera hack.

Until Anthem’s hack in January, high profile security breaches focused on large retailers such as Target and Home Depot.

This doesn’t mean healthcare organizations have been sitting on their hands believing it can’t happen to them, Ponemon said. A  survey of 91 healthcare organizations in 2013 showed that 90 percent experienced at least one data breach that year.

“Even if a hospital is reasonably secure, if may not be enough in this world,” he said.

Medical records are extremely valuable on the black market,  Ponemon said. They contain Social Security numbers, health ID numbers, addresses and possibly credit or debit card information – everything needed to create a fake identity.

“Basically it’s a rich data source for bad guys,” he said, such as terrorists seeking travel credentials.

The hackers may wait months and years before exploiting the data, he said.

“This is where we see the most serious ID theft crimes,” he said. “A lot of the 80 million will become identity theft victims.”

Ponemon was in the intelligence field for 45 years prior to founding the Ponemon Institute 14 years ago.

HITRUST, the Health Information Trust Alliance, works with healthcare organizations to improve their data security. It has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to conduct monthly briefings on cyber threats relevant to the healthcare industry, and to share best practices for defense and response.

HITRUST offers healthcare organizations a cyber threat alerting system of threats targeted at the industry. The C3 Alert is coordinated with the Healthcare and Public Health Sector and Government Coordinating Councils, according to HITRUST chief executive and founder Daniel Nutkis.

What hospitals can do:

  • As most security breaches are due to human error, maintain a good data structure to prevent data leakage, Ponemon said.
  • Encrypt data. The Wall Street Journal reported Anthem did not encrypt the personal data of its customers.
  • Ban the use of personal devices for storing patient information. Some doctors routinely send clinical records through personal e-mail, their own smartphones or tablets.
  • Rent a network intelligence system instead of buying one, Ponemon advises. It’s secure.
  • Collaborate with partners on exchanging information during and after a cyberattack, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s 2014 “Draft Guide to Cyber Threat Information Sharing.” While this may seem counter-intuitive, providers need to  learn the types of systems and information being targeted and the techniques used to gain access.
  • Use standard data formats to facilitate interoperability and fast information exchanges, the NIST recommends.

SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

computer monitoring

  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/

Banking Sector Leads In Global Data Leakage – Infowatch Report

Data Leakage The banking and financial services industry is at high risk for data leakage with over 40 per cent of leaked personal data globally, according to the Infowatch Global Data Leakage Report 2014.

Infowatch Group is the global leader in data leakage protection solutions.

Its Chief Executive Officer, Natalya Kaspersky, said the industry was involved in the leakage of 313 million personal data attributed to 135 cases reported last year.

“Although healthcare segment recorded a higher number of cases, the personal data compromised were much lower in volume compared to the banking and finance sector at 58 million,” she said during her presentation via webinar today.

She said the type of data breached was led by information breach, followed by data fraud and exceeding access rights.

The way data was being leaked was also changing, she said, from the traditional paper or hard copy to a more sophisticated way through browsers and cloud.

Kaspersky said data leakage might soon overtake other threats when it comes to financial and reputation damage to an organisation.

“It is the consumers which are being put at risk when organisations did not put enough precautions to prevent leaks, as the report revealed that 92 per cent of information leaked are personal data,” she added.

Meanwhile, Infowatch Asia Pacific/Malaysia Regional Head, Renga Nathan, said the awareness on the importance of data leakage protection in Malaysia was still very low probably due to the lack of enforcement in terms of Personal Data Protection Act.

“In Malaysia, the penetration of such solutions is only about ten per cent, while in the banking sector only 30 per cent have that kind of protection,” he said.

However, there has been an increasing awareness whereby more organisations are now putting in more budget allocations to extend their data protection to leakage solutions.


SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

computer monitoring

  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://www.bernama.com.my/

Is It Time to Review Your Data Monitoring Policy?

computer data monitoringThe relationship between workers, their devices and company material can be hazardous if left unmonitored.

Did your employer review their BYOD or employee monitoring policies with you during your onboarding process? Or, has your company’s leadership team made any changes to their policy as cellphones and other mobile devices have been allowed access to company email and files?

As more mobile devices enter the workplace, employers have started extending their data monitoring policies to worker’s personal technology. Although employee monitoring is not a new concept and is often expected in the office, there is a strong aversion to cellphone monitoring, especially among millennials.

Need for Education

According to a nationwide study by TechnologyAdvice Research, more than a third of office workers don’t know their employers’ data monitoring policies.

“The responses suggest a need for greater transparency or education efforts among company management about monitoring policies in order to keep employees engaged and maintain trust in company policies and values,” said TechnologyAdvice Managing Editor Cameron Graham, the study’s author. About 20 percent of respondents were unaware of whether their activity was monitored, while 15.6 percent were aware that their computer use was monitored somehow, but were unsure of the specifics.

Employee Sentiment on Being Monitored

There is a major split in how employees feel about computer monitoring as opposed to mobile device monitoring in the workplace. “Employees seem fairly comfortable in general with employers tracking their computer use at work, considering only 19 percent of respondents said they often or sometimes worry about their employer viewing their Internet history,” said Graham.

But 64.3 percent of office employees stated they would be at least somewhat uncomfortable with their cellphone being monitored during work hours. This is especially true for millennial respondents, who reported being more uncomfortable with cellphone monitoring, but were also found to be less likely to know how they were being monitored.

“There is a clear concern when it comes to employers tracking cellphone use, which respondents viewed as a greater concern than keylogging software or video surveillance,” Graham said. “That fear of cellphone monitoring doesn’t seem to be based on negative experiences, though, with roughly just 1 in 20 employees saying they’ve been questioned about such use.”

BYOD Policy Concerns

Millennials are poised to make up 44 percent of the work population by 2025, yet are the least likely to know the details of employee monitoring policies, despite expressing more concern about mobile device privacy than other age group. As this younger demographic moves into the workforce, employers will likely face growing challenges over Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies and mobile device monitoring.

“Involving all relevant parties in policy creation could help ease concerns over monitoring, and strike a balance in maintaining control over company information while discouraging insecure device use,” said Graham.


Recommend

SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

computer monitoring

  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://www.datamation.com/

5 IT Shortcuts That Put Your Company’s Data at Risk

computers
IT departments looking to save time and money shouldn’t be doing so at the expense of their data protection. A study from the University of Texas revealed that 43% of companies suffering from catastrophic data loss close and never reopen, and 51% close within two years.

Backup solutions provider Unitrends warns IT professionals about five common data protection shortcuts that could put their company’s data — and even their jobs — at risk.

Ignoring Hardware Failures

Hardware failures are the leading cause of data loss. Though most IT professionals don’t completely disregard hardware that is failing to back up company data and systems, many do often ignore the fact that certain backup mediums have high failure rates, such as tape or a SAN or NAS storage device that is used as both the source and target of a backup. To reduce the risk of hardware failures, move data from primary storage to a separate, secondary storage device. Disk-to-disk backup is the best approach, as it’s more reliable than tape and still ensures a physically separate secondary storage set that can survive hardware and system failures.

Trusting Co-workers to Follow Policies

The reality is that employees aren’t always great at following company policies, and even when they do, mistakes still happen. The best defenses against human error are automation and retention. Automation enables automatic execution and strict enforcement of created policies and procedures, and retention enables data recovery, regardless of whether the data loss is noticed right away or weeks later.

Underestimating Cybercriminals

By now, most companies have at least basic security solutions, such as firewalls and anti-virus software, in place to defend against malware. But cybercriminals are becoming very adept at breaking through traditional cyberdefenses. IT professionals should evaluate their infrastructure, identify areas of vulnerability and implement advanced security solutions to overcome them. These solutions include web monitoring software for safe Internet usage, end-point protection for bring-your-own-device management and a sandbox to fight targeted attacks. From a backup perspective, the best approach is to operate backup and disaster-recovery solutions on a non-Windows operating system. Windows has long been one of cybercriminals’ favorite targets, and running protection software on an operating system that is relentlessly under attack just doesn’t make sense.

Playing the Odds

Despite data-loss horror stories, many companies still don’t have disaster-recovery plans in place to protect information from natural and man-made disasters. And many of the companies that do have set plans have just one general set of guidelines that apply to all disaster situations. A strong plan focuses on people, infrastructure and processes, and clearly outlines how each is affected in different disaster scenarios.

Failing to Test Disaster-Recovery Plans

Failure to test disaster-recovery plans, or testing them on an infrequent basis, can greatly increase the risk of data loss in the event of a disaster. Since IT infrastructure evolves daily, thorough testing must be done on a consistent schedule that allows it to be adopted as yet another standard business practice.


Recommend

SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

computer monitoring

  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://mashable.com/

5 super easy tips for better online security on Safer Internet Day

It’s Safer Internet Day! Every February 10, the occasion is meant to be a reminder — particularly to young people — of the perils of the Internet.

Internet Security

The hope is to encourage more responsibility when we use the Internet and mobile technology. That can mean a lot of things and can be as simple as being more respectful online.

But it’s also a reminder to better protect yourself and your personal information. Google, for example, is using the day to remind people about the importance of online security. Coincidentally, the U.S. government happened to announce a new government agency completely dedicated to combating cyberthreats on Tuesday.

Of course, it’s always a good time to remind people that it’s easier and perhaps more common than ever before to fall victim to online attackers and cybersecurity risks. Every person should be taking measures to stay safer online. Before your eyes glaze, we have some very easy things that anyone can do to protect themselves online.

1. Use two-factor authentication

With two-factor authentication, users have to provide, in addition to a typical password, a one-time code when using a log-in service. In most cases, the code is sent to your phone — in a text message, for example. So after entering your password, you then have to put in what’s basically a one-time second password.

Based on your preferences, two-factor authentication can occur every time you log in to something or only occasionally, like when logging into an account on a new device.

Many major websites offer two-factor confirmations. Google was among the first. But now a bevy of them — including Apple’s iCloud, Dropbox, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook — offer some form of login approval.

It might seem simple, but just a smidgen of time can almost double password security.

2. Update your browser and devices!

Browsers, operating systems and mobile devices often need updates. Sure, this can be a pain, but it’s important. Many times, updates are intended to patch just-now-discovered security problems.

Researchers are constantly finding new security holes that cyberattackers can exploit. So if an update notice comes through, never hesitate. It could be the difference between losing 15 minutes of your time and a hacker gaining control of your computer.

3. Use unique passwords and a password manager

People are really bad at making strong passwords. In 2014, the most common leaked passwords were “123456” and “password.” It’s also typical for people to include their birth year (especially those born between 1989 and 1992) in their passwords.

Hackers are up to your tricks. For each login, each website, each service, you should be using unique passwords that have nothing to do with a dead pet or your birthday. “But how do I remember all these passwords?” you might be asking. Well, you don’t have to.

There are a number of good password management services, such as LastPass or 1Password, that can generate and store login information in a virtual vault. Some even offer security-checking features that will let you know if you have duplicate or weak passwords.

4. Get a Google security checkup

Google is offering Drive users an extra 2GB of storage space if they take part in its Security Checkup program by Feb. 17. It takes a few minutes to run some quick tests on your Google accounts. To get started, click here.

The feature offers an overview of your recent sign-in activity (to see if any unusual devices are logging into your accounts). With the checkup, users can also grant and revoke account permissions on their devices, as well as add recovery information — such as a phone number — to help Google get in touch if something is up with your accounts.

5. Use HTTPS whenever you can

HTTPS is the secure version of hypertext transfer protocol — the letters that come before the “www.” in a web address. That last “S” can provide a big difference, however. HTTPS works to bidirectionally encrypt information sent between you and a website’s servers.

It isn’t perfect. HTTPS will not protect you from, say, government surveillance, but it can be surprisingly sophisticated in its protections. BMW, for example, failed to use HTTPS when transmitting data via its ConnectedDrive car system. That made the car vulnerable to remote hackers, who could have exploited that oversight to open car doors.

Most major websites are compatible with HTTPS, but it is best to be cognizant of the web addresses you’re using. There are tools, too, such as HTTPS Everywhere browser extension, that works to automatically switch any HTTP address over to HTTPS.


Recommend

SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

computer monitoring

  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://mashable.com/