Posts

EFail Flaw: Encryption Alone Does Not Protect Your Email

Email EncryptionAs reported last week by eWeek and others, researched found two flaws that allow hackers with access to email accounts to read emails encrypted with OpenPGP and S/MIME.  This is significant for two reasons:

  1. These standards are available for us in almost every email client
  2. Budget-conscious users often relay on public-domain or free tools to use OpenPGP or S/MIME for email encryption

As noted in the eWeek article, 23 of 35 email clients tested as of the publication date were vulnerable.  While the actual risk from EFail is currently moderately low — hackers need access to the encrypted emails before they can exploit EFail, the rate of identity compromise is on the rise. Secondary threats, such as EFail, will become a more prominent form of attack in the future.

Free Encryption Solutions Often Lack Sufficient Protection

Robust email security and encryption services include features, such as validation of digital signatures, that ensure the integrity of encrypted email messages.

Furthermore, solutions, like ZixEncrypt, control both ends of the encryption process, so any messages (with or without S/MIME encrypted attachments) with an invalid or missing digital signature get bounced. Integrity checks prevent the delivery of compromised messages, thereby preventing exposure.

As you face an increasing need to secure email communications, the robust features in services like ZixEncrypt create a value proposition most businesses cannot and should not ignore.


Contact us for more information about email security, encryption, and compliance.


 

4 Lessons from the Q4 Data Breach Review

Last week, our strategic partner Privacy Ref held their quarterly review of recent data breaches.  In his presentation, Ben Siegel, CIPM, identified 4 lessons learned from recent data breaches, including: Google Android; Hillary Tentler, CPA; Folsom State Prison; and the Internal Revenue Service.

#1: Unauthorized Mobile Apps Create Risk

Issue: Users can download apps from sites other than the Google Play store. These apps are not “vetted” and gain access to tokens used to control users’ accounts.

Lesson: As the threat is outside of Google’s control, you need to put systems in place to prevent unauthorized apps from access your company’s data via mobile devices.

#2: Local Data is At Risk, Too

Issue: In the burglary of an accountant’s home, three hard drives were stolen and only one was recovered during the arrest.

Lesson: Physical devices, when stolen, can result in a serious data breach; While moving 100% cloud is more secure, it may not be a practical option for your business yet. You should ensure any local data is encrypted and subject to regular backup.

#3: Internal Breaches are Still a Breach

Issue: A file including names, social security numbers, and other sensitive data was saved to a shared location accessible to anybody in the organization.

Lesson: You can protect yourself from internal breaches with solutions that use defined business rules to automatically enforce permission restrictions based on the content of your files.

#4: It is Too Easy to Email Protected Information

Issue: Employees were sending emails with personally identifiable information (PII) clearly visible, in violation of regulatory requirements.

Lesson: You should not rely on people to do the right thing all of the time — mistakes happen and can be damaging and costly. System exist that scan and encrypt emails automatically if they contain sensitive or protected information.


Do you need a privacy assessment or a privacy plan review? Are you ready to better protect your data — on premise and/or in the cloud?

Contact us to discuss your needs.


 

library

Google Workspace Encryption

Google Workspace EncryptionWhitepaper | Source: Google

Security is a key consideration for organizations that choose Google Workspace.

Google works hard to protect your data — whether it’s traveling over the Internet, moving between our data centers or stored on our servers. A central part of Google’s comprehensive security strategy is encryption, which helps prevent  information from being accessed in the event that it falls into the wrong hands.

This paper describes Google’s approach to encryption and how it keeps your sensitive information safe.

Please confirm the information, below, to view and download the eBook.