Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

6/19/2009
02:40 PM
John H. Sawyer
John H. Sawyer
Commentary
50%
50%

Data Leakage Through Nontraditional Networks

Securing our company's data is our job. We build up layers of defense to protect it when it is housed within our corporate network and corporate computer systems. Firewalls, VPNs, encryption, and data leakage prevention all help in some way to protect the data that we don't want anyone else to have. Sometimes, however, we are stuck in the situation where we don't control the network or systems that portions of our data ends up on.

Securing our company's data is our job. We build up layers of defense to protect it when it is housed within our corporate network and corporate computer systems. Firewalls, VPNs, encryption, and data leakage prevention all help in some way to protect the data that we don't want anyone else to have. Sometimes, however, we are stuck in the situation where we don't control the network or systems that portions of our data ends up on.A few examples that come to mind are third party contractors, business partners and cloud service providers. We are either forced by business decisions or the desire to offload storage and processing to someone who can do it cheaper. Either way, our data ends up where we are not in direct control of the network nor are we responsible for securing the network it resides on.

What about some other examples of networks you don't control that might end up with your data? Try to think of something that is more non-traditional but highly likely to be unauthorized? Did I hear P2P? If not, let me remind you of the recent leak of sensitive Marine One blueprints over P2P from a defense contractor. That was definitely data that the government didn't want outside of their control but it made it out and likely because of misconfigured P2P software client.

Having your data leaked via P2P is a scary situation to consider but it has happened and will continue to happen. New technologies are currently being developed that could make it even easier. The recent announcement by the Opera Web browser development team is the most recent. The technology called Unite will include a mini Web server in each Web browser allowing users to share files and folders directly to users across the Internet.

Do you really want all your users and their systems to become web servers? I didn't think so...The easy fix is to not use Opera, but that doesn't mean your contractors or home users won't be using it.

Just thinking about the possibilities for abuse gives me a headache, but don't worry about me, there's more on the horizon to be concerned about. Take a look at "Veiled," a new browser-based darknet that will be demonstrated at BlackHat next month. It sounds as if it could be as easy as getting someone to open an HTML-based e-mail or clicking on a link to pull them into the darknet. From there, who knows what could happen.

Besides policy and contracts that state P2P can't be used on systems that access sensitive data and such, what are you using out there to protect yourselves? DLP is certainly an option but is limited when considering data that doesn't live on your network. There are also monitoring companies who search for your data on P2P network, or you could do it manually.

It's an interesting problem that's going to get worse with these new technologies and more companies moving their data to the cloud. How do you plan to deal with it?

John H. Sawyer is a senior security engineer on the IT Security Team at the University of Florida. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are his own and do not represent the views and opinions of the UF IT Security Team or the University of Florida. When John's not fighting flaming, malware-infested machines or performing autopsies on blitzed boxes, he can usually be found hanging with his family, bouncing a baby on one knee and balancing a laptop on the other. Special to Dark Reading.

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-7029
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability was discovered in the System Management Interface Web component of Avaya Aura Communication Manager and Avaya Aura Messaging. This vulnerability could allow an unauthenticated remote attacker to perform Web administration actions with the privileged ...
CVE-2020-17489
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
An issue was discovered in certain configurations of GNOME gnome-shell through 3.36.4. When logging out of an account, the password box from the login dialog reappears with the password still visible. If the user had decided to have the password shown in cleartext at login time, it is then visible f...
CVE-2020-17495
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
django-celery-results through 1.2.1 stores task results in the database. Among the data it stores are the variables passed into the tasks. The variables may contain sensitive cleartext information that does not belong unencrypted in the database.
CVE-2020-0260
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
There is a possible out of bounds read due to an incorrect bounds check.Product: AndroidVersions: Android SoCAndroid ID: A-152225183
CVE-2020-16170
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
The Temi application 1.3.3 through 1.3.7931 for Android has hard-coded credentials.