2018 End-of-Year Data Breach Report from the Identity Theft Resource Center (noting a 126% uptick in the numbers of records breached containing the continued use and re-use of passwords and usernames, and the vulnerabilities caused by third party vendors), experts with Cequence, CyberSaint and STEALTHbits offer perspective.
Franklyn Jones, CMO at Cequence:
“Unfortunately, for the bad guys these data breaches are gifts that keep on giving, long after the news headlines fade away. Millions of these stolen credentials find their way to the dark web, where they are acquired by other bad actors who then orchestrate automated bot attacks targeting other web sites where those credentials might give them fraudulent access to private accounts. Without proper security safeguards, those automated attacks can be quite successful because people tend to use the same login credentials on multiple sites.”
George Wrenn, CEO at CyberSaint Security:
“Due to the complexity of our day to day lives and the technology, processes, and people involved in them, the question of a cybersecurity incident is no longer a matter of “if”, but “when”. Cyber criminals are picking up on weak spots that organizations have, and are evolving just as we are at the pace of technical innovation, such that the complexities only continue to accumulate.
“This is why cybersecurity management must include measurement. Every business function has metrics- not just the finance unit where financial health is concerned, but the HR unit measures employee turnover, marketing and sales units manage customer adoption… cybersecurity too needs measurement in order to be effective. Without a truly metrics-driven approach when adopting best practices, especially cybersecurity frameworks such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, there is no tangible way to communicate program effectiveness. The only way we can continue to keep up- and more importantly get better at keeping up- with the “bad guys” is if we have an efficient cycle of best practice adoption, measurement, analysis, and remediation that is easily communicable and measurable like any other business function.”
Rod Simmons, VP of Product Strategy at STEALTHbits Technologies:
“In situations where a user has a weak password it is an “Aw-shucks” moment for the user, however the administrators of the system shoulder some of the blame as they allowed the users to be so careless. As an attacker, the more frequently you see an email address used as a primary logon method or recovery method, the more apparent it becomes whether that account is critical. If I have access to this email address, I can request password resets.
“Single Sign-on using technologies like Microsoft Account, Google Account, or Facebook are great for users, as it means there’s one less credential to manage poorly. The problem is once that credential is owned, not only can a bad actor assume your identity any place you have used, it they can use it in new places you are not aware of to assume your identity.”