Attacks/Breaches

'Security Fatigue' Could Put Business at Risk

The relentless march of security breaches may cause some individuals to drop their guard, but there's more to the story than that.

When the news is filled with stories of one disaster after another, responders talk about "compassion fatigue" to explain why people seem to care less about the loss with each succeeding event. So, with stories of data breaches affecting millions of records in the news, is it possible for consumers and employees to suffer "security fatigue" in ways that have an impact on their behavior?

Gary Davis, McAfee’s chief consumer security evangelist, says security fatigue may be responsible for some behavior, but it's not a complete explanation. "I read a report that talked about 'optimism bias.' People always tend to believe it's not going to happen to them — it will happen to their neighbor, so they don't have to be very proactive," Davis says. "It's the case of 'it's not going to happen to me' versus 'there's too much going on.'"

One of the factors contributing to a lack of urgency is ignorance about just how much pain is involved when an identity is stolen, Davis suggests. "I don't think people truly grasp just how painful it is to unwind something that's pretty far gone down a path. That's what people need to think about when they're thinking about protecting their identities," he explains.

Given the individual lack of action, organizations may have to step up their efforts to protect their customers and employees, Davis says. "With things like GDPR, there will be a more concerted effort for businesses to be more mindful," he says.

But the impetus to protect individual personal data is not simply regulation-driven. As the traditional network perimeter has dissolved, it's become more important for organizations to extend their technology and expertise to employee, partner, and customer devices in order to protect corporate assets. "We need a much stronger sense of collaboration and education for what you need to be doing to make sure you don't put yourself or your company at risk," Davis says.

What suggestions should the enterprise be making to customers and employees to help them keep both their own and enterprise data safe? Davis has a list of "bare minimum" steps he thinks every organization should suggest:

  • Apply patches and updates to the router, PC, and connected devices. If individuals do that, then they're doing something well.
  • Stay informed and educated. Phishing is a good example. There are simple things an individual can do to see whether a message or website is phishing.
  • Have active antivirus on the smartphone and PC.
  • Use freely available website reputation tools. They'll block access to a known-bad website.
  • Use a password manager. This could lead to both stronger passwords and the end of credential cascades in which a threat actor gets one password and gains access to dozens of websites.

Related Content:

 

 

Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec 3-6 2018  with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Russia Hacked Clinton's Computers Five Hours After Trump's Call
Robert Lemos, Technology Journalist/Data Researcher,  4/19/2019
Tips for the Aftermath of a Cyberattack
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/17/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-11378
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-20
An issue was discovered in ProjectSend r1053. upload-process-form.php allows finished_files[]=../ directory traversal. It is possible for users to read arbitrary files and (potentially) access the supporting database, delete arbitrary files, access user passwords, or run arbitrary code.
CVE-2019-11372
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-20
An out-of-bounds read in MediaInfoLib::File__Tags_Helper::Synched_Test in Tag/File__Tags.cpp in MediaInfoLib in MediaArea MediaInfo 18.12 leads to a crash.
CVE-2019-11373
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-20
An out-of-bounds read in File__Analyze::Get_L8 in File__Analyze_Buffer.cpp in MediaInfoLib in MediaArea MediaInfo 18.12 leads to a crash.
CVE-2019-11374
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-20
74CMS v5.0.1 has a CSRF vulnerability to add a new admin user via the index.php?m=Admin&c=admin&a=add URI.
CVE-2019-11375
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-20
Msvod v10 has a CSRF vulnerability to change user information via the admin/member/edit.html URI.