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.

Risk

4/12/2021
10:00 AM
Deepika Gajaria
Deepika Gajaria
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail vvv
50%
50%

Wake Up and Smell the JavaScript

The SolarWinds attack showed the true meaning of a supply chain breach. And it's the canary in the coal mine for sensitive data on the Web.

Even before the pandemic hit and everyone flocked online, companies were investing significant time and resources in building great online experiences for their users. But all that usability comes with a price tag in terms of risk. Today's websites are essentially a conglomeration of Web-enabled assets, a massive global supply chain that nobody really thinks about in this way. And that's a big data-privacy problem that's about to get a lot bigger. 

What do all these connected parts have in common? JavaScript. "Write once, run everywhere" has been the backbone of today's rich Web — but that portability has massive implications for both data security and data privacy. Magecart is driving awareness of the security aspects, but many businesses seem unaware of the growing privacy implications of uncontrolled data sharing by trusted Web applications. The Web has largely been ignored when it comes to understanding data-privacy risks. Enterprises take care of the data in their databases and how they store customers' and other sensitive data, but more often than not, the Web is where data is invoked. 

Related Content:

Prioritizing Application & API Security After the COVID Cloud Rush

Special Report: Building an Effective Cybersecurity Incident Response Team

New From The Edge: Cartoon Caption Winner: In Hot Water

What happens when the same applications and integrations that deliver rich user experience and insights share that sensitive information with third, fourth, or fifth parties outside your organization's control? You can get an idea by looking at dating site Grindr and a pending €10 million fine for sharing user data with advertising companies without the consent required under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

Are website owners really doing enough to protect users and understand these emerging risks?

Start Caring About Oversharing
Forms found on 92% of websites expose data to an average of 17 domains — climbing to 20 if you happen to be a top mobile service provider in the European Union, where (depending on the country) passport scans and copies of pay slips are among the documentation requested to sign a contract. That's a lot of oversharing. And what about the multiple trusted applications on your site — Google Ads, chatbots, etc.? While many of these applications are set to collect data, many organizations aren't aware of the exact kind or extent of the data they're collecting. 

Can you genuinely claim to know exactly where all this data is flowing? Do you know: 

  • Which vendor has access to what sensitive data?
  • Which vendor reads sensitive data?
  • Which vendor shares sensitive data with other vendors? 

Because if you don't, you should. Regulations, including GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), require enterprises to be aware of where sensitive data is flowing, as well as the purpose of these data flows. 

Why It Matters
Unintentional data exposure is a significant, unaddressed problem for most of the world's website owners. When we fail to secure data as it's entered into websites, we're effectively leaving it hanging: the only reason it's not being stolen is that criminals haven't taken it. Yet.

Equally, when we overlook the need to understand how trusted applications share data, we run the risk of simply giving it away — without our users' consent. 

Everyone talks about security in depth, security beyond the perimeter, and data privacy. It's time to focus on the place where those things intersect: the browser. 

Deepika Gajaria is Tala's VP of Products. An experienced product leader and technologist, Deepika is responsible for product strategy and delivery at Tala. Working closely with customers, she drives product direction and shapes the product roadmap to address their core ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How Enterprises Are Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Environment
The adoption of cloud services spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in pressure on cyber-risk professionals to focus on vulnerabilities and new exposures that stem from pandemic-driven changes. Many cybersecurity pros expect fundamental, long-term changes to their organization's computing and data security due to the shift to more remote work and accelerated cloud adoption. Download this report from Dark Reading to learn more about their challenges and concerns.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2022-23807
PUBLISHED: 2022-01-22
An issue was discovered in phpMyAdmin 4.9 before 4.9.8 and 5.1 before 5.1.2. A valid user who is already authenticated to phpMyAdmin can manipulate their account to bypass two-factor authentication for future login instances.
CVE-2022-23808
PUBLISHED: 2022-01-22
An issue was discovered in phpMyAdmin 5.1 before 5.1.2. An attacker can inject malicious code into aspects of the setup script, which can allow XSS or HTML injection.
CVE-2022-21707
PUBLISHED: 2022-01-21
wasmCloud Host Runtime is a server process that securely hosts and provides dispatch for web assembly (WASM) actors and capability providers. In versions prior to 0.52.2 actors can bypass capability authorization. Actors are normally required to declare their capabilities for inbound invocations, bu...
CVE-2022-21708
PUBLISHED: 2022-01-21
graphql-go is a GraphQL server with a focus on ease of use. In versions prior to 1.3.0 there exists a DoS vulnerability that is possible due to a bug in the library that would allow an attacker with specifically designed queries to cause stack overflow panics. Any user with access to the GraphQL han...
CVE-2022-23363
PUBLISHED: 2022-01-21
Online Banking System v1.0 was discovered to contain a SQL injection vulnerability via index.php.