Many recent executive surveys have suggested that business executives are steadily becoming more aware of the need to deal effectively with cybersecurity issues. Yet one recent survey of executives' digital-transformation priorities debunked this, with security issues landing at the bottom of the priority list behind a whole slew of more-conventional business concerns.
Similar disinterest has created issues for those fighting increasingly effective 'whaling' emails, with warnings about the importance of educating executives about this potentially disastrous form of fraud. This, as payments clearinghouse Swift ramped up its reporting in an attempt to help stem payment fraud.
ICT-research hothouse Data61 found a way to merge big-data sets for analysis whilst maintaining user privacy, while innovators were exploring ways to deliver infosec marketplaces. Of course, the baddies are also building marketplaces such as a data hoarding site that collects data from public data breaches; amidst advice about protecting your mission-critical information, there was small consolation from a site offering to notify you if your data is leaked.
Yahoo was hit with a massive data breach affecting more than 500 million users, which it discovered after looking into an online offer from a hacker trying to sell user data. Users were advised to change their passwords in the wake of what was being called the largest data breach ever.
Also on the breach front, Australia was found to be leading the APAC region in terms of the number of data breaches reported, even though it doesn't yet have legal requirements for disclosure of such breaches.
There were warnings that the security skills gap was preventing Australian companies from implementing robust-enough security testing capabilities, while Australian businesses were being warned to lock down remote desktop protocol (RDP) access after ransomware was found to be exploiting the protocol to install ransomware. This, as one security expert offered a few tips for stopping most ransomware in its tracks.
A comparative study suggested that the education industry is the furthest behind in efforts to stop ransomware, while medical device makers were also facing concerns over their security. Industrial control systems were also flagged as being particularly vulnerable, while car makers were also under the pump amidst security concerns that ransomware could eventually create major issues for owners of self-driving cars.
Privacy groups were pushing the US FTC to investigate privacy promises made by messaging tool WhatsApp. Hackers were selling a tool to spread malware through BitTorrent files, while a hacker site allegedly obtained a scan of Michelle Obama's passport.
Chinese researchers found a way to remotely take over a Telsa Model S car, while a US spy chief suggested that Russia had previously tried to influence US elections. US lawmakers were pushing legislation to prevent US voting systems from being hacked, raising fears of a Hollywood-grade information-security breach that could have far-reaching implications.
Amidst news that more than 840,000 Cisco devices were vulnerable to an NSA-related exploit, Cisco was patching a high-criticality IOS vulnerability exploited by the Equation group. Microsoft announced that it would not bundle Internet Explorer patches with the new cumulative updates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, while Website security vendor CloudFlare delivered the newest version of the TLS secure communications protocol to its customers. Symantec was patching more bugs found by a Google bug hunter, while the release of Apple's new macOS Sierra operating system fixed more than 60 security flaws.
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