Cybercrime , Cybersecurity , Data Breach
The Marriott mega-breach is calling attention to the issues of whether organizations are storing too much data and whether they’re adequately protecting it with the proper encryption steps.
See Also: The Role of Threat Intelligence in Cyber Resilience
In its revised findings about a mega-breach that it now says affected 327 million customers, Marriott notes that 25.6 million passport numbers were exposed in the breach, of which 5.25 million were unencrypted. “There is no evidence that the unauthorized third party accessed the master encryption key needed to decrypt the encrypted passport numbers,” Marriott says. But that doesn’t mean that the attackers couldn’t later brute-force decrypt the numbers (see: Marriott Mega-Breach: Victim Count Drops to 383 Million).
Also exposed in the breach were approximately 8.6 million encrypted payment cards that were being stored by Marriott. By the time the breach was discovered in late 2018, however, Marriott says most of the payment cards had already expired. As with the passport data, “there is no evidence that the unauthorized third party accessed either of the components needed to decrypt the encrypted payment card numbers,” Marriott says.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, says the breach highlights a failure by many organizations to minimize the amount of data they routinely store on consumers.
“It’s unacceptable that Marriott was retaining sensitive data like passport numbers for so long, and it’s unconscionable that it kept this data unencrypted,” said Warner, who co-chairs the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Meanwhile, security experts around the world are calling attention to the need to take all necessary steps to properly encrypt sensitive data that organizations store.
Although cryptography is being added to more backend applications, it’s often being implemented incorrectly, contends Steve Marshall, chief information security officer and head of cyber consulting at Bytes Software Services, a U.K.-based IT company. “This often leaves organizations with a false sense of security, which, unfortunately becomes evident when they are attacked,” he says.
And with governments across the world pushing for encryption backdoors to be used by law enforcement, the hacking risks could get worse.
Jagdeep Singh, head of risk and governance at Instarem, a Singapore-based payments company, says many companies worldwide make common mistakes when implementing encryption. For example, they:
Tarun Pant, CEO at SecurelyShare, a Bangalore-based company, says too many organizations focus on encrypting data while it’s transmitted but fail to encrypt it when it’s at rest.
“Many organizations don’t do end-to-end encryption of data,” he says. “Hence, the weakest link is often the source of the breach. Data at rest, if not encrypted with source key, leads to breaches from within the organization.”
Too many companies take a “check list” approach to data security, focusing narrowly on regulatory compliance. These firms often don’t devote enough time and effort to properly implementing encryption, security experts say.
“Many development teams adding encryption to their code call it a day once they achieve the minimum security needed for a regulatory checkmark. This attitude is dangerous,” Singh says (see: Demystifying DevSecOps and Its Role in App Security).
Kevin Bocek, vice president of security strategy and threat intelligence for Salt Lake City, Utah-based Venafi, a cybersecurity company that develops software to secure and protect cryptographic keys, says managing machine identities that are used to establish encryption is challenging for many organizations.
“Investigations have shown that simply not keeping track of machine identities, like TLS certificates, can create encrypted tunnels for hackers to hide in,” Bocek says. “In addition, if a simple machine identity, like a key and certificate, not being updated, mobile networks across entire countries can be impacted.”
Depending on where encryption occurs – column level vs. application level – what encryption techniques are used and what kind of vulnerability is being exploited, attackers can use many different techniques to cause data breaches, says Sandesh Anand, managing consultant at Synopsys, a Mountain View, Calif.-based technology company.
“Practitioners should not build their own crypto algorithms or libraries,” he stresses. “They should instead focus on implementing well-known, peer-reviewed, secure algorithms properly.”
Anand says the best algorithms to use are AES or Advanced Encryption Standard for symmetric encryption algorithm, RSA for asymmetric encryption algorithm and SHA-256 for hashing.
Mistakes in key management also can lead to trouble, Anand says. “Often firms end up either using short keys or they end up using the same key for months,” he says. “Then there is the problem of insecure key management.”
Pune-based Rohan Vibhandik, a security researcher with a multinational company, notes: “Storing or transmitting keys insecurely remains a common mistake, especially in case of a symmetric key where a single key is used at both ends – encryption and decryption.”
While it’s important to secure the storage of machine identities, including keys, it’s become even more critical to be able to have the capability to change machine identities fast, Bocek stresses.
“Browsers can distrust Certificate Authorities. This means businesses have to quickly find and change out machine identities, like TLS keys and certificates, used for encryption,” he says.
While encryption plays an important role in data security, it’s not a cure-all, security experts stress.
“Encryption is just one of the many controls that protect data while in transit or at rest,” Singh says. “However, there are numerous ways to circumvent encryption in a client-server model. “Also, encryption technologies and the way they get adopted are still evolving.”
Anand notes: “Remember: The strength of a chain is the weakest link. So, if crypto keys are lying around in insecure locations or if database admins use weak passwords, data can still be breached. Finally, insecure application controls can also lead to a breach.”
An important aspect of encryption is proper key management.
“Key management is a challenge that grows with the size and complexity of your environment,” Pant says. “The larger the user base, the more diverse the environment, the more distributed the keys are. Hence the challenges of key management will be greater.”
Singh recommends organizations avoid saving keys in the same server as the encrypted data.
“One needs to ensure that private keys, when stored, are non-exportable. Also, one must not use the same keys for both directions,” he says. He also recommends adoption of proper standards, including TLS, or Transport Layer Security, while data is in transit. “Avoid using secure sockets layer as it is outdated,” he emphasizes.
To help ensure that encrypted data remains untampered, adding a layer of hashing and salting is essential, Vibhandik says.
“When data is encrypted, one must hash it using functions like MD5 and SHA,” he says. “To provide further layered security to the hashed data, SALT function must be used; that can prevent tampering of data.
“One must remember that hashing does not add any privacy to data; it only saves against any data alteration or tampering attempts. Encryption provides privacy to your data but does not make it tamper proof. So a combination of both is important for endpoint and end-to-end communication and data security.”
See the original post here:
Encryption: Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Lead to Breaches
- encryption - How secure is AES-256? - Cryptography Stack ... - June 2nd, 2019
- The World's Email Encryption Software Relies on One Guy, Who ... - May 5th, 2019
- Encryption breakthrough could keep prying eyes away from your ... - May 5th, 2019
- What Is Data Encryption? Definition, Best Practices & More ... - May 1st, 2019
- IronClad Encryption Partners with Data443 Risk Mitigation ... - April 30th, 2019
- What Is Encryption? An Overview of Modern Encryption ... - April 30th, 2019
- Symmetric vs. Asymmetric Encryption What are differences? - April 29th, 2019
- Difference Between Hashing and Encryption - ssl2buy.com - April 29th, 2019
- What is Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)? - Definition ... - April 29th, 2019
- How to Encrypt Your Wireless Network - Lifewire - April 29th, 2019
- After Paris, Encryption Will Be a Key Issue in the 2016 ... - April 22nd, 2019
- Email encryption - Wikipedia - April 8th, 2019
- What is Encryption, and Why Are People Afraid of It? - April 8th, 2019
- Data encryption | cryptology | Britannica.com - April 8th, 2019
- How to Enable Full-Disk Encryption on Windows 10 - April 1st, 2019
- After Paris, Encryption Will Be a Key Issue in the 2016 Race - March 27th, 2019
- Does Encryption Really Help ISIS? Heres What You Need to ... - March 27th, 2019
- AES and RSA Encryption Explained - March 27th, 2019
- Encryption: What it is and why its important - Norton - March 23rd, 2019
- Email encryption in transit - Gmail Help - March 21st, 2019
- Authenticated encryption - Wikipedia - March 19th, 2019
- Email Encryption Options for MDaemon Email Server - March 14th, 2019
- How to Encrypt Files on Windows - Tutorial - Toms Guide - March 6th, 2019
- Encryption, Key Management - bank information security - March 5th, 2019
- Which Types of Encryption are Most Secure? - February 7th, 2019
- JSON Object Signing and Encryption (JOSE) - February 4th, 2019
- What Is Encryption, and How Does It Work? - January 26th, 2019
- The Pitfalls of Facebook Merging Messenger, Instagram, and ... - January 26th, 2019
- Encryption | Information Technology Services - December 31st, 2018
- Encryption - Investopedia - December 16th, 2018
- How to Protect Data at Rest with Amazon EC2 Instance Store ... - December 9th, 2018
- Next Generation Encryption - blogs.cisco.com - December 4th, 2018
- 3 Different Data Encryption Methods - DataShield blog - November 22nd, 2018
- Security and encryption | Documentation | Turtl - November 18th, 2018
- Encryption | General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - November 16th, 2018
- Using Encryption and Authentication Correctly (for PHP ... - November 13th, 2018
- Encryption | SANS Security Awareness - November 9th, 2018
- Types of Encryption | Office of Information Technology - November 5th, 2018
- Use Your own Encryption Keys with S3s Server-Side ... - October 29th, 2018
- What is Tokenization vs Encryption - Benefits & Uses Cases ... - October 12th, 2018
- Device Encryption | it.ucsf.edu - October 12th, 2018
- 5 Common Encryption Algorithms and the Unbreakables of the Future - September 15th, 2018
- Top 5 best encryption software tools of 2018 | TechRadar - August 26th, 2018
- New EBS Encryption for Additional Data Protection | AWS ... - August 22nd, 2018
- Best Encryption Software 2018 - Encrypt Files on Windows PCs - August 20th, 2018
- Download BestCrypt Volume Encryption 3.78.05 / 4.01.09 Beta - July 26th, 2018
- End-to-end encryption - Wikipedia - July 24th, 2018
- Download Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.4.0 Build 1100 - July 15th, 2018
- HTTPS - Wikipedia - July 10th, 2018
- AES encryption - June 20th, 2018
- Encrypt email messages - Outlook - June 20th, 2018
- Download Sophos Free Encryption 220.127.116.11 - softpedia.com - June 19th, 2018
- Does Skype use encryption? | Skype Support - June 16th, 2018
- Encryption- Computer & Information Security - Information ... - May 25th, 2018
- Enable BitLocker on USB Flash Drives to Protect Data - May 25th, 2018
- Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) - msdn.microsoft.com - April 12th, 2018
- Encryption Software Market - Global Forecast to 2022 - March 24th, 2018
- What AES Encryption Is And How It's Used To Secure File Transfers - March 24th, 2018
- Encryption vs. Cryptography - What is the Difference? - March 24th, 2018
- Energy-efficient encryption for the internet of things | MIT News - February 16th, 2018
- The Best Encryption Software - TopTenReviews - February 16th, 2018
- File-Based Encryption | Android Open Source Project - February 7th, 2018
- Beyond Encryption | Secure Enterprise email using existing ... - February 1st, 2018
- Azure Search enterprise security: Data encryption and user ... - January 26th, 2018
- Skype finally getting end-to-end encryption | Ars Technica - January 13th, 2018
- FBI chief says phone encryption is a 'major public safety issue' - January 13th, 2018
- Encryption and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) - December 27th, 2017
- Key (cryptography) - Wikipedia - December 21st, 2017
- security - Fundamental difference between Hashing and ... - December 15th, 2017
- What Is Encryption? | Surveillance Self-Defense - December 4th, 2017
- Comodo Disk Encryption Download - softpedia.com - December 1st, 2017
- Encryption - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - November 24th, 2017
- BitLocker Drive Encryption Overview - technet.microsoft.com - November 23rd, 2017
- The Encrypting File System - technet.microsoft.com - November 18th, 2017
- FBI cant break the encryption on Texas shooters smartphone - November 13th, 2017
- DOJ: Strong encryption that we dont have access to is ... - November 13th, 2017
- DOJ Fires Up New War With Apple Over Encryption - November 12th, 2017
- Security Awareness - Encryption | Office of Information ... - October 15th, 2017
- Data Encryption and Decryption (Windows) - October 14th, 2017
- Trumps DOJ tries to rebrand weakened encryption as responsible ... - October 11th, 2017