Healthcare breaches have dominated the second half of the year. Consider these lessons learned.
Though the second half of the year has been comparably calmer than the first half's database breaches at RSA, Sony, and Epsilon, the breach numbers continued to roll in--especially at healthcare organizations, which made up a disproportionate number of exposed records. Here are some of the biggest breaches that went down in the second half of the year, along with a few database security lessons learned.
1. The Breach Victim: Nemours Assets Stolen/Affected: Names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, insurance data, medical treatment data, and bank account information for 1.6 million patients, vendors, and employees.
Three unencrypted tapes containing a mother lode of personal information on patients, vendors, and employees were lost amid the dust of a facility remodel project when a cabinet that held them since 2004 went missing.
Lessons Learned: Database backups are often the Achilles' heel in enterprise database security. Because of their portability and longevity, database backup tapes are frequently lost in transit or in these types of relocation scenarios. Encryption of data is key to ensuring security even when tapes can't be physically secured.
[ From healthcare to game companies to trusted third-party security companies, a number of significant breaches were reported in 2011. See Slide Show: The Year In Data Theft. ]
2. The Breach Victim: Tricare/SAIC Assets Stolen/Affected: Protected health information from 5.1 million patients of U.S. military hospitals and clinics.
Another day, another backup tape gone missing. In September, Tricare announced that an employee for one of its contractors, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), was driving around with a backup tape containing patient data from 1992 all the way through 2011 for San Antonio-area military treatment facilities. The tapes were stolen from the car, exposing Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, clinical notes, lab test results, prescriptions, and other medical information.
Lessons Learned: In addition to the lessons about backup tape protection, this case shows how important third-party contractor security procedures are to an organization. Enterprises and government agencies alike must be aware of how contractors are touching database information and whether they're employing best practices with regard to how that data is handled.
IT's spending as much as ever on disaster recovery, despite advances in virtualization and cloud techniques. It's time to break free. Download our Disaster Recovery Disaster supplement now. (Free registration required.)
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Published: 2014-12-25 The CmdAuthenticate::_authenticateX509 function in db/commands/authentication_commands.cpp in mongod in MongoDB 2.6.x before 2.6.2 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (daemon crash) by attempting authentication with an invalid X.509 client certificate.
Published: 2014-12-25 The Crumb plugin before 3.0.0 for Node.js does not properly restrict token access in situations where a hapi route handler has CORS enabled, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information, and potentially obtain the ability to spoof requests to non-CORS routes, via a crafted web site ...
Published: 2014-12-24 The expand function in fio.c in Heirloom mailx 12.5 and earlier and BSD mailx 8.1.2 and earlier allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via shell metacharacters in an email address.
Published: 2014-12-24 The ssl23_get_client_hello function in s23_srvr.c in OpenSSL 1.0.1j does not properly handle attempts to use unsupported protocols, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and daemon crash) via an unexpected handshake, as demonstrated by an SSLv3 handshak...
Published: 2014-12-24 drivers/misc/qseecom.c in the QSEECOM driver for the Linux kernel 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, does not validate certain offset, length, and base values within an ioctl call, which allows attackers to gain privileges or c...