Smartphone and Google Personal Data unlocked and used in a murder case…
The murder on a father of three children (37) in the Netherlands was originally a mystery for the Dutch investigations offices. But after the extraction of smartphone data by the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (ufed) of the Israeli-an company Cellebrite the mystery was solved.
The personal data used found on the smartphone and the connected cloud application was the following: Agenda, Call History, Facebook-messenger, WhatsApp, web browsing history, search terms, removed) photo’s, SMS, High precision location datagin Google databases, Activities: walking, biking, driving or standstill, Logging battery percentages, App install and remove history.
A terrifying documentary of the new era of data misuse
The Great Hack
The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR for short, is a major new European privacy law that went into effect on May 25. GDPR will radically change the relationship with the organisations that store and process your data.
GDPR was a logical answer to the digitalisation of our society and economy in which personal data became a product gathered by companies offering free internet services such as Google, Facebook and Instagram. Those companies became the largest companies in the world just by selling our personal data to businesses which are using this to influence our behaviour and buying by presenting us targeted messages and advertisements.
GDPR gives you back the ownership over your personal data. The value and respect for your personal data protection is now regulated by law.
It means companies have to
- request consent for gathering and processing your personal data (cookie and privacy notices)
- protect your personal data (security)
- request companies to access, modify or delete your personal data
To request access, modification or deletion of your personal data, you can use the tools on the following site: https://www.mydatadoneright.eu
Cloud computing has a lot of business benefits, such as cost effective, flexible and a fast time to deploy. But there are also at least 5 major risks any business should try to mitigate before using a ‘public’ cloud service.
Risk 1: Vendor Lock-In
Will your organization be able to migrate “cost & time effective” to another cloud service ?
Most cloud providers benefit intentionally or unintentionally from keeping things proprietary as long as possible. Providers can also suddenly announce cost increase or be bought out by a larger company resulting in policy and or location changes.
Therefore your organization should define a clear exit strategy and include the ‘exit’ costs into the initial cost analysis.
Risk 2: Insecure of incomplete data deletion
Will your cloud provider be able to delete your data securely on your request ?
Cloud providers store your data safely by making multiple copies. The data is stored on multiple disks that are shared with and reused for other customers. So they cannot simply shred the hard disks. A request to delete data, as with most operating systems, may also not result in true wiping of the data.
If a Cloud provider does not (securely) delete data before reassigning space, leaking personal or strict confidential data of your organization especially in case of multiple tenancies could represent a high risk.
Risk 3: Loss of governance
Is your business still in control over the availability, performance, data integrity, resolution times of incidents and problems if the outsourced service is delivered by a Cloud provider?
Most cloud services have pre-defined service levels and do not offer negotiated Cloud Service Level Agreements. However to stay in control during contract negotiation at least the following important criteria needs to be agreed: availability (e.g. 99.99% during work days), performance (e.g. maximum response times), portability of the data (e.g. ability to move data to another provider) and resolution times of incidents.
As a cloud consumer you need to be sufficiently in control of your IT systems. For more help click here.
Risk 4: Loss of control on your encrypted data
Who really owns your data if you as customer do not own the encryption key?
While a cloud provider may agree to keep the data confidential (i.e., they won’t show it to anyone else) that promise does not prevent their own exploitation of the customer data e.g. to improve search results, to deliver ads or to mine data for their own purpose . Also, If the user encrypts the data, it’s more difficult for the cloud provider to deliver some cloud services (e.g. search).
However the fact that you are not in control of the keys to encrypt or decrypt your own data is a substantial risk that companies should try to avoid.
Risk 5: Insecure virtualization layer
How secure is the virtualization layer used by your Cloud provider?
Most cloud providers use virtualization– inside physical device virtual systems are built. This virtualization enables the provider to use physical devices in a more economic way. However virtual firewall support that exists today is very limited and attackers learned how to compromise the virtualization layer to gain control of the operating systems on virtual machines.
A compromise like this could give attackers complete control of your data. Together with your Cloud provider, organizations should agree on measures to mitigate this major risk.
Banks gained the trust of their clients by the delivery of secure banking solutions. Client information and financial transactions are continuously protected against data leakage and cybercrime. But the IT world is changing……
IT departments adopted ‘Agile’ ways of working. So called ‘devOps’ teams deploy changes to banking solutions continuously. On a daily or monthly base all kind of new features and improvements are added to the banking apps and e-banking solutions.
Because Agile is faster and less expensive. Focus is on new functionality and the question “is the solution still secure?” comes later and sometimes too late. Penetration test show vulnerabilities which because of a lack of budget and time are not resolved before the ‘Go Live’. Risks are accepted based on good intentions, which are often not fulfilled due to the focus on new innovations.
How to solve?
The same as for functionality testing, security testing has to become part of the day to day work of a developer. Security Officers have to provide security test tooling (SAST, DAST) so that developers can deliver secure apps based on defensive coding.
At the same time, the backlog should get sufficient attention of Agile Risk Managers. Per feature in the backlog, stakeholders should assess the risks of a new feature. The secure devOps teams should also create (evil) user stories and other controls. In this way business can check concepts and identify risks in a timely way.
Instead of waiting for the results of the Penetration test, it is Continuous integration of risk management and security from backlog to delivery which will deliver ‘secure user stories’ and ‘secure apps’.