Compliance
US Data Privacy Laws 2020: What Security Leaders Need to Know
13 July 2020
When it comes to privacy and data security, the United States has a less strict regulatory environment than many other major economies, such as the European Union. However, several states have passed laws in recent years that impose significant requirements on businesses handling the personal information of US residents.There are also some tough sector-specific federal privacy laws that you might not realize you need to comply with. This guide will help you understand: Which US state and federal privacy laws apply to your business What the laws require The consequences of a violation Let’s start with state laws.  State Laws While these are “US state privacy laws”, they actually apply to businesses around the world. Why? Because it doesn’t matter where your business is located, it matters whose personal information you’re handling. We’ll give examples below, with a focus on the three broadest and strictest US state privacy laws.  California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) came into full force in 2020 and is California’s state law that many people are (justifiably) comparing to the European Union’s world-leading General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If you’re interested, you can read the full text here.  Who Does the CCPA Apply to? Although the CCPA was written with big tech companies in mind, it affects businesses across sectors.  The CCPA covers any business handling the personal information of California residents (regardless of whether the business has any physical presence in the state) that meets one of the following three thresholds: It has gross revenues in excess of $25 million per year, It buys, sells, receives or shares for commercial purposes the personal information of at least 50,000 California consumers or households per year, OR It derives 50 percent or more of its annual revenues from selling consumers’ personal information Note that, due to the CCPA’s broad definition “personal information” — and of what constitutes “selling” personal information — a company may fall under threshold “B” if: It operates a website or app that uses third-party cookies for advertising or analytics, and  The website or app attracts at least 50,000 California visitors or users per year. 
What Are the Main Requirements Under the CCPA? The CCPA’s main obligations include: Notice: Businesses must provide consumers with notice of how they collect, use, and share personal information. This necessitates a comprehensive Privacy Policy. Control: Businesses must allow consumers to access and delete their personal information. How? By allowing consumers to opt out of the sale of their personal information. Security: Businesses must apply reasonable security procedures and practices to safeguard the personal information they store. This may include malware protection, staff training, and email security.  Violating any part of the CCPA can lead to civil penalties of: Up to $2,500 per unintentional incident (such as failing to implement proper security protections, leading to a data breach). Up to $7,500 per intentional incident (such as deliberately selling the personal information of consumers who have “opted out”). Data breaches can be particularly heavily penalized under the CCPA’s private right of action, with statutory damages of up to $750 per consumer, per incident.  Failing to implement proper data security practices could, therefore, lead to class action lawsuits in the billions of dollars, depending on the severity and extent of the breach. That’s why it’s so important organization’s level-up their cybersecurity. Still have questions? We answered 13 FAQs about the CCPA in this article. We also outline the 5 Things CISOS Should Know About The CCPA here.  New York SHIELD Act The New York Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act (NY SHIELD Act) is a New York State Act that came into full force in 2020. Again, if you want to read the full text, you can find it here. In a sentence, it’s a data breach notification law that imposes data security standards on covered businesses. Who Does the NY SHIELD Act Apply to? The NY SHIELD Act applies to “any person or business that owns or licenses computerized data which includes private information of a resident of New York.”  This includes businesses with no physical presence in the state. So, what’s “private information”? The Act’s definition is complex, but, broadly, it includes: A person’s full name, or first initial and last name, plus  At least one of the following unencrypted (or compromised) data elements: Social security number,  Driver’s license or other ID number,  Bank account or credit card number (plus security code or PIN),  Biometric data. OR: An email address or username, plus  A password, “secret question” answer, or any other means of access. It’s important to note that gaining access to these data points is easier than you might think. Just look at your mailing list. What Are the Main Requirements Under the NY SHIELD Act? The NY SHIELD Act consists of two parts: Data breach notification: Businesses must report any breach of the private information of New York residents to the affected persons and to various New York authorities “in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay.” Data security program: Businesses must implement reasonable administrative, technical, and physical security measures to safeguard the private information of New York residents. This must include: Risk assessment of how employees transfer and communicate private information,  Appropriate software protection such as email security, Staff training on privacy and data security. Violating the SHIELD Act’s data breach notification requirements can lead to a civil penalty of up to $250,000. Oregon Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act (OCIPA) The Oregon Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act (OCIPA) (previously the Oregon Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act) is an Oregon state law that received significant amendments in 2019 (available here). It is a data breach notification law that imposes data security standards on covered businesses. Who Does OCIPA Apply to? OCIPA law applies to “any person that owns, maintains or otherwise possesses” the personal information of Oregon residents. OCIPA defines “personal information” in much the same way as the NY SHIELD Act, with two additional types of information included: Health insurance policy numbers and other health-related identifiers, Information about a person’s physical or mental diagnoses or history. This means that those working in healthcare have to be especially careful. You can read more about the frequency of data loss incidents in this specific sector in our blog: Data Loss Prevention in Healthcare.  What Are the Main Requirements Under the OCIPA? Like the NY SHIELD Act, OCIPA requires businesses to implement a “data security program” to maintain administrative, technical, and physical safeguards over the personal information they possess.  An OCIPA data security program must include measures such as: Designating an employee to oversee the program, Safeguarding against and and responding to cyberattacks Implementing anti-malware and email protection software Any data breach must be reported to the individuals affected “without unreasonable delay, but not later than 45 days” after discovering the breach. If the breach affects 250 or more Oregon residents, it must be reported to the Oregon Department of Justice. The maximum fine for failing to properly report a breach is $25,000 per violation. Next up: three of the most important US federal privacy laws. These are sector-specific, but they each apply more broadly than you might expect. Federal Laws Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is a federal law first passed in 1998 and it covers the provision of goods and services to children. You can read the full text here, but we’ve answered key questions below.  Who Does COPPA Apply to? COPPA applies to anyone who operates a commercial website, online service, or mobile app that is: Directed at minors under the age of 13, or  Knowingly collecting the personal information of minors under the age of 13. While we can’t write an extensive list of all the different websites, services, or apps that meet these requirements, think of brands like Disney, Hasbro, and Mattel. Importantly, COPPA applies to non-US companies and content creators using platforms such as YouTube and TikTok.  Personalized advertising is a big target of COPPA enforcement. IP addresses and device IDs qualify as “personal information” under the Act. Most websites and apps collect this type of information. What Are the Main Requirements Under COPPA? Under COPPA, businesses are required to: Provide privacy notices to parents, Obtain parental consent before collecting, using, or sharing children’s personal information, Allow parents to opt out of the processing of children’s personal information, Allow parents to access their children’s personal information, Collect the minimum personal information necessary from children, Protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of children’s personal information by maintaining reasonable security practices.  Violating COPPA can lead to fines of up to $43,280 per incident. In 2019, Google settled an alleged COPPA violation with the FTC for $170 million Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law first passed in 1996. As the name suggests, it covers the healthcare sector. Who Does HIPAA Apply to? HIPAA applies to “covered entities,” including: Healthcare providers (e.g. doctors, physiotherapists, nursing homes, pharmacists, dentists, etc.) Health plans (e.g. health insurance companies, employee-sponsored health plans) Healthcare clearinghouses (e.g. billing services, community health information systems) Covered entities process “protected health information” (PHI), which covers 18 categories of personal information including: Names Email addresses IP addresses Medical record numbers IP addresses While “covered entities” deal directly with health information, HIPAA also applies to subcontractors of covered entities that require access to PHI. Such subcontractors are known as “business associates.” Some common types of companies that act as “business associates” include: Third-party claims management administrators Lawyers Medical transcriptionists Data analysts What Are the Main Requirements Under HIPAA? HIPAA places strict obligations on how covered entities and business associates process PHI, with rules covering: Privacy: Providing access to PHI to individuals (this is optional, unlike “the right to access” under the CCPA) Providing Privacy Notices when collecting or disclosing PHI, Training employees on matters of patient privacy. Security:  Assessing the risk to PHI from cybersecurity threats, Implementing anti-malware and email protection software, Reporting actual or suspected cyberattacks to the Office for Civil Rights as soon as possible, and within 60 days. Remember that privacy and security threats can come from outside or inside your organization.  In 2017, the Department for Health and Human Services settled an investigation with a HIPAA covered entity for $5.5 million after a trusted employee leaked the PHI of 80,000 individuals. You can read more about incidents involving Insider Threats (including two instances involving the NHS) in this blog: Insider Threat Types and Real-World Examples.) Penalties under HIPAA can range from $100 to $50,000 per violation. Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) is a federal law first passed in 1999 (available here). It covers the financial sector. Who Does the GLBA Apply to? The GLBA covers “financial institutions,” but this definition is broader than you might expect. The FTC defines a “financial institutional” as any business that is “significantly engaged in providing financial products or services.” So, alongside banks and investment firms, the GLBA covers following types of businesses: Check-cashing businesses  Payday and other non-bank lenders Mortgage brokers Real estate appraisers Professional tax preparers Certain courier services What Are the Main Requirements Under the GLBA? One of the chief obligations under the GLBA is to develop a written security program explaining how your business safeguards consumer information.  When it comes to creating a security program, GLBA’s requirements are fairly flexible, and include: Designating an employee to oversee the program, Identifying risks in each area of operation, and assessing the security safeguards relevant to that area, Adjusting the program in light of relevant risk factors and technological developments. While the GLBA’s security program requirement leaves plenty of room for maneuver, covered businesses would be expected to implement basic cybersecurity protections such as the encryption of consumer information and company-wide installation of security software, including data loss prevention solutions. GLBA violations incur particularly heavy penalties, including fines of up to $100,000 per violation and/or up to five years in prison. But, that isn’t deterring professionals working in Financial Services from mishandling data. According to Tessian research, the majority of employees have accidentally or intentionally exfiltrated data. How can I stay compliant? 
While every data privacy law is slightly different, each is consistent in saying that businesses must implement and maintain a cybersecurity program.  Tessian helps organizations across sectors stay compliant by protecting data on email.  Powered by machine learning, our Human Layer Security technology understands human behavior and relationships, enabling it to automatically detect and prevent anomalous and dangerous activity. Tessian Enforcer detects and prevents data exfiltration attempts Tessian Guardian detects and prevents misdirected emails Tessian Defender detects and prevents spear phishing attacks Learn more by booking a demo. Or, you can read through our customer stories, including those operating in Healthcare and Financial Services.
Compliance
CCPA FAQs: Your Guide to California’s New Privacy Law
08 July 2020
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is now in force, and those that fail to comply are open to civil penalties and private lawsuits.  But, many business, security, and compliance leaders are still scratching their heads, wondering how the CCPA will affect them, how to stay compliant, and what consequences they face in the event of a data breach. We’re here to help. We’ve answered some of the key questions businesses are asking about, from the scope of the CCPA to violations under this strict data privacy law.  Not what you were looking for? We’ve covered the 5 Things Every CISO Should Know About CCPA’s Impact on Their InfoSec Program in a seperate blog.  Scope of the CCPA Who is covered by the CCPA? The CCPA covers several types of entities, primarily “businesses.” If your company qualifies as a business, it needs to comply with the CCPA. A business can be any legal entity that operates for profit in California and meets one or more of the CCPA’s three thresholds: It has annual gross revenues in excess of $25 million It annually buys, sells, or shares for commercial purposes, the personal information of 50,000 or more California consumers, households, or devices  It earns 50 percent or more of its annual revenues from selling consumers’ personal information Does the CCPA only apply to big businesses? At first glance, the thresholds above may appear to only apply to large corporations, social media companies, and “data brokers.”  But the truth is, many companies with targeted advertising campaigns may meet the requirements of threshold “B.” This is because using third-party cookies is likely to constitute “selling personal information. (More information below. Click here to jump ahead.)  Therefore, a company is likely to be covered by the CCPA if its website or mobile app: Uses third-party advertising or analytics cookies (or similar technologies), and Generates at least 50,000 unique hits originating in California per year.
Does the CCPA cover non-Californian companies? It doesn’t matter if your business is based in Los Angeles, London, or Lahore. The determining factors are whether you collect the personal information of California residents (“consumers”), and whether you meet one or more of the three thresholds above. Does your business collect the personal information of California residents? It does if they:  Visit your website (assuming you use web analytics or cookies to measure engagement or track visitors) Sign up to your newsletter Make an enquiry about your services That means that if you have a website that attracts visitors from around the world, chances are you’re obligated to satisfy the CCPA.  What is “Personal Information” under the CCPA? The CCPA defines “personal information” as: “…information that identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household.” It’s worth mentioning that this is arguably the broadest definition of “personal information” under any privacy law in the world. Nonetheless, the CCPA provides examples of the types of data that might qualify as personal information.  While this list is not exhaustive, it includes: Name Email address IP address Cookie data Device ID Biometric data Geolocation data It’s very common for a business to collect these types of information every time a person visits its website or uses its app. And, it’s also impossible to do business with a consumer without collecting at least some of this information.  Think about it. When you buy something on an e-commerce website, what information do you provide? What is a “Service Provider” under the CCPA? A service provider is a legal entity that processes personal information on behalf of a business.  For example, a marketing company receives a list of email addresses from a business and sends out its newsletter. The marketing company doesn’t have a direct interest in the end result of this activity — it simply obeys the instructions of the business. A service provider must also operate under a contract with the business from whom it receives personal information. This contract must prohibit the service provider from retaining, using, or disclosing the personal information for any purpose outside of the contract. In layman’s terms: Service providers are not directly liable for most CCPA obligations. But, if a service provider’s negligence or wrongdoing leads to a data breach, it can be sued by the client.  Service providers can also receive civil penalties (more on that here) in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, it’s not clear yet what these “certain circumstances” are. As and when we have more context, we’ll update this blog! Violating the CCPA What is the CCPA’s Private Right of Action? Under the CCPA’s private right of action, a consumer — or group of consumers — can bring a legal claim against a business that fails to secure certain types of their personal information and suffers a data breach. (You can read more about what types of PI in this blog.) But, what happens if a consumer does pursue this private right of action? It can lead to: Statutory damages — an amount of money paid to each consumer, determined by the court, depending on the seriousness of the breach (among other factors). Statutory damages fall between $100 and $750 per consumer, per incident. Actual damages —  an amount of money paid to each consumer, based on what they have actually lost as the result of a breach. In the event of large-scale data breaches involving millions of consumers, damages could add up to billions of dollars. We’ve yet to see any legal claims completed under the CCPA. However, what if the CCPA had been in force throughout Facebook’s “Cambridge Analytica” scandal? Privacy lawyer Nicholas Schmidt estimates that the damage could have been between $61.6 billion and $184.7 billion. What are the CCPA’s civil penalties? The California Attorney General can issue civil penalties to businesses or service providers that violate any part of the CCPA. The CCPA’s civil penalties can be for an amount of: Up to $7,500 per intentional violation, such as knowingly selling personal information where a consumer has opted out. Up to $2,500 per unintentional violation, such as failing to impose reasonable security measures leading to a data breach.  Note: This is why it’s so important organization’s have strong security policies, procedures, and solutions in place. Reducing risk by improving your security posture is key. Tessian helps prevent data exfiltration and accidental data loss. Our solutions also help security leaders proactively protect their systems and data through automated intelligence and robust investigation and remediation tools. Learn more. The California Attorney-General must give a business 30 days’ notice of its alleged CCPA violation. If the business can “cure” the violation within this period, it can escape a penalty. While it’s not clear how a business can “cure” a CCPA violation, examples may include imposing security measures to “stem” a data breach or successfully retrieving personal information that has been exfiltrated. Privacy regulators are increasingly imposing harsh penalties on big tech companies. The CCPA takes clear inspiration from the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has seen the following large fines: €50 million (Google, France) €27.8 million (TIM telecommunications company, Italy) €204.6 million (British Airways, UK — not yet enforced)
CCPA Data Security Requirements What counts as a data breach under the CCPA? The CCPA defines a data breach as: “…unauthorized access and exfiltration, theft, or disclosure as a result of the business’ violation of the duty to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the information to protect the personal information” Here are the key elements of this definition: Unauthorized access Exfiltration Theft Disclosure A failure to “maintain reasonable security procedures and practices” Remember that a data breach can be intentional or unintentional and it can originate from a person inside or outside of your business. Read more about Insider Threats on our blog. According to the most recent California Data Breach Report, misdirected emails (emails sent to the wrong recipient) were the leading cause of data breaches. !function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement("script");a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js");
In the UK, misdirected emails were also the most common cause of data breach in quarter 4 of 2019-20, according to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). As we’ve said, the CCPA requires a proactive approach to maintaining data security. Read about how Tessian can help CCPA compliance below or learn more about Tessian Guardian, which detects and prevents misdirected emails before they happen. What is “reasonable security” under the CCPA? The CCPA doesn’t define “reasonable security procedures and practices.”  However, in the most recent California Data Breach Report, the California Attorney-General clearly states that meeting the 20 Critical Security Controls from the Center for Internet Security (CIS) represents a minimum reasonable level of security.
The CIS Critical Security Controls include: Email and web browser protection Malware protection Application software security It’s worth noting that email is the threat vector most security leaders are worried about protecting. Find out why.  CCPA Consumer Rights What are the CCPA Consumer Rights? The CCPA’s consumer rights are: The right to know — consumers may request information about the types of information a business has collected, used, and shared about them over the past 12 months. They may also request copies of the specific pieces of information that the business holds about them. The right to delete — consumers may request that a business deletes the personal information it holds about them. The right to opt out — consumers may instruct a business not to sell their personal information The right to non-discrimination — businesses may not offer a lesser quality of goods or services or demand a higher price for goods or services if a consumer exercises their CCPA rights. The right to opt in (for minors) — businesses must obtain opt-in consent before selling the personal information of minors under the age of 16. They must obtain parental consent before selling the personal information of minors under the age of 13. In upholding these consumer rights, businesses have an obligation to provide individuals certain types of notice. More on that below.  What are the CCPA’s notice requirements? Under the CCPA, businesses must provide up to four types of notice to consumers: Privacy Policy — details which categories of personal information the business has collected, used, disclosed, and sold over the past 12 months. Every businesses must include a clear and prominent link to its Privacy Policy on its website and/or app. Notice at collection — provided at the point at which the business collects personal information from a consumer. This could appear, for example, as a disclaimer at the top of a sign-up form, informing consumers about what personal information the business is collecting and why. Notice of the right to opt-out — enables consumers to opt out of the sale of their personal information (where applicable). This must include a prominent link on a business’s homepage reading “Do Not Sell My Personal Information.” It might also take the form of a “cookie banner” enabling consumers to opt out of personalized advertising. Notice of financial incentives — informs consumers about any financial incentives offered for the processing of their personal information (where applicable). This can appear as a disclaimer when consumers are invited to sign up to certain types of “loyalty schemes.” What counts as “selling” Personal Information under the CCPA? The CCPA defines “selling” personal information as: “…selling, renting, releasing, disclosing, disseminating, making available, transferring, or otherwise communicating orally, in writing, or by electronic or other means, a consumer’s personal information by the business to another business or a third party for monetary or other valuable consideration.” There is a lot of debate about what this means for businesses. Virtually any transfer of personal information that benefits your company could constitute a “sale.”  And, because of the very broad phrasing, this definition is likely to include the use of third-party cookies, which involve “transferring” “personal information” (such as IP addresses and device IDs) to “a third party” for “valuable consideration.” Don’t worry, there are several approaches to transferring Personal Information without “selling” it, including engaging a service provider when disclosing personal information for business purposes. How can Tessian help with CCPA compliance? While some parts of the CCPA are still open to debate, we know the following facts for certain: Data breaches will leave CCPA-covered businesses open to significant risks of private litigation and civil penalties. Failure to implement reasonable security procedures and practices will: Increase the likelihood of a data breach occurring, and Lead to more substantial fines and more serious legal claims. As one of the CIS Critical Security Controls, “email protection” is one of the minimum requirements for “reasonable security.” Tessian’s Human Layer Security solutions can fulfill a crucial element of your company’s duty to maintain reasonable security procedures and practices. Tessian Guardian — prevents your employees from emailing personal or sensitive company information to the wrong person. Tessian Enforcer — prevents the exfiltration of company data to unauthorized recipients. Tessian Defender — detects and prevents inbound “spear-phishing” attacks designed to trick your employees into divulging personal information. Learn more about Tessian’s solutions by booking a demo. 
Compliance Data Loss Prevention Human Layer Security
At a Glance: Data Loss Prevention in Healthcare
By Maddie Rosenthal
30 June 2020
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a priority for organizations across all sectors, but especially for those in Healthcare. Why? To start, they process and hold incredible amounts of personal and medical data and they must comply with strict data privacy laws like HIPAA and HITECH.  Healthcare also has the highest costs associated with data breaches – 65% higher than the average across all industries – and has for nine years running.  But, in order to remain compliant and, more importantly, to prevent data loss incidents and breaches, security leaders must have visibility over data movement. The question is: Do they? According to our latest research report, The State of Data Loss Prevention 2020, not yet. How frequently are data loss incidents happening in Healthcare? Data loss incidents are happening up to 38x more frequently than IT leaders currently estimate.  Tessian platform data shows that in organizations with 1,000 employees, 800 emails are sent to the wrong person every year. Likewise, in organizations of the same size, 27,500 emails containing company data are sent to personal accounts. These numbers are significantly higher than IT leaders expected.
But, what about in Healthcare specifically? We found that: Over half (51%) of employees working in Healthcare admit to sending company data to personal email accounts 41% of employees working in Healthcare say they’ve sent an email to the wrong person 35% employees working in Healthcare have downloaded, saved, or sent work-related documents to personal accounts before leaving or after being dismissed from a job Download the data sheet for more stats, including graphs. This only covers outbound email security. Hospitals are also frequently targeted by ransomware and phishing attacks and Healthcare is the industry most likely to experience an incident involving employee misuse of access privileges.  Worse still, new remote-working structures are only making DLP more challenging.
Healthcare professionals feel less secure outside of the office  While over the last several months workforces around the world have suddenly transitioned from office-to-home, this isn’t a fleeting change. In fact, bolstered by digital solutions and streamlined virtual services, we can expect to see the global healthcare market grow exponentially over the next several years.  While this is great news in terms of general welfare, we can’t ignore the impact this might have on information security.   Half of employees working in Healthcare feel less secure outside of their normal office environment and 42% say they’re less likely to follow safe data practices when working remotely.   Why? Most employees surveyed said it was because IT isn’t watching, they’re distracted, and they’re not working on their normal devices. But, we can’t blame employees. After all, they’re just trying to do their jobs and cybersecurity isn’t top-of-mind, especially during a global pandemic. Perhaps that’s why over half (57%) say they’ll find a workaround if security software or policies make it difficult or prevent them from doing their job.  That’s why it’s so important that security leaders make the most secure path the path of least resistance. How can security leaders in Healthcare help protect employees and data? There are thousands of products on the market designed to detect and prevent data incidents and breaches and organizations are spending more than ever (up from $1.4 million to $13 million) to protect their systems and data.  But something’s wrong.  We’ve seen a 67% increase in the volume of breaches over the last five years and, as we’ve explored already, security leaders still don’t have visibility over risky and at-risk employees. So, what solutions are security, IT, and compliance leaders relying on? According to our research, most are relying on security training. And, it makes sense. Security awareness training confronts the crux of data loss by educating employees on best practice, company policies, and industry regulation. But, how effective is training, and can it influence and actually change human behavior for the long-term? Not on its own. Despite having training more frequently than most industries, Healthcare remains among the most likely to suffer a breach. The fact is, people break the rules and make mistakes. To err is human! That’s why security leaders have to bolster training and reinforce policies with tech that understands human behavior. How does Tessian prevent data loss on email? Tessian uses machine learning to address the problem of accidental or deliberate data loss. How? By analyzing email data to understand how people work and communicate.  This enables Tessian Guardian to look at email communications and determine in real-time if a particular email looks like they’re about to be sent to the wrong person. Tessian Enforcer, meanwhile, can identify when sensitive data is about to be sent to an unsafe place outside an organization’s email network. 
Interested in learning more about how Tessian can help prevent data loss in your organization? You can read some of our customer stories here or book a demo. You can also download this data sheet to share key statistics with others.
Compliance Data Loss Prevention Human Layer Security
The State of Data Loss Prevention in the Financial Services Sector
By Maddie Rosenthal
10 June 2020
In our latest research report, we took a deep dive into the State of Data Loss Prevention and revealed that data loss incidents are happening up to 38x more frequently than IT leaders currently estimate.  And, while data loss is a big problem across all industries, it’s especially problematic in those that handle highly sensitive data. One of those industries is Financial Services. Before we dive into how frequently data loss incidents are happening and why, let’s define what exactly a data loss incident is in the context of this report. We focused on outbound data loss on email. This could be either intentional data exfiltration by a disgruntled or financially motivated employee or it could be accidental data loss.  Here’s what we found out. The majority of employees have accidentally or intentionally exfiltrated data  Tessian platform data shows that in organizations with 1,000 employees, 800 emails are sent to the wrong person every year. This is 1.6x more than IT leaders estimated. Likewise, in organizations of the same size, 27,500 emails containing company data are sent to personal accounts. We call these unauthorized emails, and IT leaders estimated just 720 are sent annually. That’s a big difference.
But, what about in this particular sector? Over half (57%) of Financial Services professionals across the US and the UK admit to sending at least one misdirected email and 67% say they’ve sent unauthorized emails. But, when you isolate the US employees, the percentage almost doubles. 91% of Financial Services professionals in the US say they’ve sent company data to their personal accounts.  !function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement("script");a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); And, because Financial Services is highly competitive, professionals working in this industry are among the most likely to download, save, or send company data to personal accounts before leaving or after being dismissed from a job, with 47% of employees saying they’ve done it. !function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement("script");a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); To really understand the consequences of incidents like this, you have to consider the type of data this industry handles and the compliance standards and data privacy regulations they’re obligated to satisfy. Every day, professionals working in Financial Services send and receive: Bank Account Numbers Loan Account Numbers Credit/Debit Card Numbers Social Security Numbers M&A Data In order to protect that data, they must comply with regional and industry-specific laws, including: GLBA COPPA FACTA FDIC 370 HIPAA CCPA GDPR So, what happens if there’s a breach? The implications are far-reaching, ranging from lost customer trust and a damaged reputation to revenue loss and regulatory fines.  For more information on these and other compliance standards, visit our Compliance Hub. Remote-working is making Data Loss Prevention (DLP) more challenging  The sudden transition from office to home has presented a number of challenges to both employees and security, IT, and compliance leaders.  To start, 65% of professionals working in Financial Services say they feel less secure working from home than they do in the office. It makes sense. People aren’t working from their normal work stations and likely don’t have the same equipment. !function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement("script");a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); A further 56% say they’re less likely to follow safe data practices when working remotely. Why? The most common reason was that IT isn’t watching, followed by being distracted.  Most of us can relate. When working remotely – especially from home – people have other responsibilities and distractions like childcare and roommates and, the truth is, the average employee is just trying to do their job, not be a champion of cybersecurity.  That’s why it’s so important that security and IT teams equip employees with the solutions they need to work securely, wherever they are. Current solutions aren’t empowering employees to work securely  Training, policies, and rule-based technology all have a place in security strategies. But, based on our research, these solutions alone aren’t working. In fact, 64% of professionals working in Financial Services say they’ll find a workaround to security software or policies if they impede productivity. This is 10% higher than the average across all industries. !function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement("script");a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); How does Tessian prevent data loss on email? Tessian uses machine learning to address the problem of accidental or deliberate data loss by applying human understanding to email behavior. Our machine learning models analyze email data to understand how people work and communicate. They have been trained on more than two billion emails and they continue to adapt and learn from your own data as human relationships evolve over time. This enables Tessian Guardian to look at email communications and determine in real time if particular emails look like they’re about to be sent to the wrong person. Tessian Enforcer, meanwhile, can identify when sensitive data is about to be sent to an unsafe place outside an organization’s email network.  Enforcer and Guardian do all of this silently in the background. That means workflows aren’t disrupted and there’s no impact on productivity. Employees can do what they were hired to do without security getting in the way. Tessian bolsters training, complements rule-based solutions, and helps reinforce the policies security teams have worked so hard to create and embed in their organizations. That’s why so many Financial Services firms are adopting Tessian’s technology, including: Man Group Evercore BDO Affirm Armstrong Watson JTC DC Advisory Many More Interested in learning more about how Tessian can help prevent data loss in your organization? You can read some of our customer stories here or book a demo.  Learn more about the State of Data Loss Prevention 2020 For more insights around the frequency of data loss incidents across industries, the impact remote-working is having on organizations’ security postures, and which solutions are the most (and least) effective, read the full report.
Compliance Human Layer Security
Two Years Later: 3 Ways GDPR Has Affected Cybersecurity
By Maddie Rosenthal
14 May 2020
This month we celebrate the two year anniversary of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). While the road to compliance hasn’t been easy for organizations in Europe and beyond, it’s clear this benchmark legislation has been a step in the right direction for data rights, privacy, and protection.  It’s also had a big impact on cybersecurity. Not only is cybersecurity now considered business-critical – which is big news for an industry that has historically struggled to communicate its value and ROI – but we’ve seen incredible innovation in security solutions, too. Read on to learn more about how GDPR has affected cybersecurity or, for more context around GDPR and its implications, read GDPR: 13 Most Asked Questions + Answers.  1. Cybersecurity is now a business enabler  While cybersecurity has historically been a siloed department, data privacy regulations and compliance standards like GDPR have helped prove the business value of a strong cybersecurity strategy.  To start, cybersecurity solutions help organizations stay compliant by preventing data breaches. This isn’t trivial. While the fines under these new compliance standards are hefty (GDPR fines totaled nearly €50 million in the first quarter of 2020 alone), the implications of a breach extend far beyond regulatory penalties to include: Lost data Lost intellectual property Revenue loss Losing customers and/or their trust Regulatory fines Damaged reputation It’s no surprise, then, that the UK’s cybersecurity sector has grown by 44% since GDPR was rolled out. But, cybersecurity solutions don’t have to be limited to prevention or remediation. In fact, cybersecurity can actually enable businesses and become a unique selling point in and of itself. Now that data protection is top of mind, those organizations that are transparent about their policies and procedures will have a competitive advantage over those that aren’t and will gain credibility and trust from prospects and existing customers or clients. 
2. IT leaders are engaging with (and depending on) employees more often While cybersecurity teams are responsible for creating and implementing effective policies, procedures, and tech solutions, data protection is the responsibility of the entire organization. Why? Because data loss is a human problem with 88% of breaches being caused by human error, not cyberattacks. The fact is, employees control business’ most sensitive systems and data, and one mistake – whether it’s a misdirected email or a misconfigured firewall – could have tremendous consequences. That means accountability is required company-wide in order to truly keep data secure and stay compliant.  But, education is the first step in prevention which is why there’s express advice contained within the GDPR to train employees. Importantly, though, training has to actually cut through and stick, which means IT leaders are working hard to effectively communicate risks and responsibilities. Of course, anyone in a cybersecurity leadership position knows this is no easy task.  The key is to ensure training is aligned to the individual business, starting with the people in it and their attitudes towards security. Not sure where to start? Watch Mark Lodgson, Head of Cyber Assurance and Oversight at Prudential, talk about how he measures cyber culture within his organization. 3. The DLP market is booming  Post-GDPR, organizations are spending more than ever to protect their systems and data, and, unsurprisingly, one of the top spending priorities for IT leaders is data loss prevention (DLP). While the DLP market is keeping up with demand (DLP market revenues are projected to double from $1.24 billion in 2019 to $2.28 by the end of 2023), data loss prevention remains a pain point for most senior executives because, well, most DLP solutions don’t work. According to a new report from 451 Research “DLP technology has developed a reputation as much for inaccuracy, false positives, and poor performance as it has for protecting data.” The shortcomings of DLP solutions are reflected in the number of incidents of data loss and data exfiltration being reported, too, up 47% over the last two years. The problem is that most DLP solutions rely on rules to detect and prevent incidents and most rules cannot effectively be managed by people. It’s too time consuming and complex to update them in tandem with evolving human relationships and compliance standards. But, there’s a better way: machine learning. In fact, Tessian was recently recognized as a Cool Vendor in Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Cloud Office Security report. Why? Because, through a combination of machine intelligence, deep content inspection of email, and stateful mapping of human relationships, Tessian’s Human Layer Security Platform turns your email data into your biggest defense against email security threats.  To learn more about how Tessian uses machine learning to prevent data loss on email, click here.  What’s next? GDPR is just the beginning and the CCPA enforcement date is looming. Are you prepared? Find out on our blog: 5 Things Every CISO Should Know About CCPA’s Impact on Their InfoSec Programs.
Compliance Data Loss Prevention
5 Things Every CISO Should Know About CCPA’s Impact on Their InfoSec Programs
24 April 2020
The California Consumer Privacy Act (or “the CCPA” for short) is California’s new data privacy law that came into effect on January 1, 2020.   This is the first of its kind in the US, and it’s going to impact your InfoSec program.  The purpose of this new law from a privacy perspective is to give consumers greater control over their personal information (PI). How? By giving consumers key privacy rights. You may be familiar with some of these rights, including: The right to know what PI a business is collecting about you  The right to know what these businesses do with that PI (via a privacy notice) The right to request access to that data  The right to have PI deleted  But, some rights are new, including: The right to request a business stops “selling” your PI The right to not be treated differently when making such a request While it’s essential consumers know their rights, security and compliance leaders need to pay attention, too. After all, failure to comply will result in fines up to $7,500 per violation.  So, if you’re a CISO, here’s everything you need to know about CCPA. The CCPA is one of the strictest consumer privacy laws in the US and it’s become the new standard Unlike Europe, the US doesn’t have a federal consumer privacy law. Instead, the US privacy landscape is made up of a smattering of both state and sectoral laws. As the CCPA ties enforcement to “California residents”, it may apply to services provided outside of California to Californians. Because it’s virtually impossible to know with absolute certainty who or where your customers are, it can become tricky to determine who you offer CCPA rights to and who you don’t. The result? Many companies have given CCPA rights to everyone.
The CCPA includes an obligation for your infosec program Indeed, when it comes to security, the CCPA only specifies that a business must “implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the information” it processes.   Importantly, though, what those “reasonable” security procedures are and how they differ based on the information involved remains undefined.   But, what we do know is that if your business experiences a data breach and a Californian consumer’s PI is taken by an unauthorized person, your business could be on the hook for failing to implement reasonable security procedures. In addition to fines, the CCPA grants Californian consumers the right to sue you. This is called a private right of action.  While there is still much to be determined as to what “reasonable” means, the onus rests on you, as CISO, to review your infosec program and make sure you’re comfortable you’re doing your best to reach this “reasonable” standard. Looking at the NIST (800-53 or CSF), ISO 27001, and CIS controls are a great place to start.  The bottom line: businesses need to protect their data. Implementing a DLP solution is a necessary step all businesses need to take.
If a data breach happens on your watch, you may be held responsible for damages Statutory damages are new for Californian data privacy law.  Now, consumers can sue you for a data breach and they don’t have to show harm, meaning we could see a rise in data privacy class actions.   This CCPA private right of action promises to shake up the data breach class action landscape in which such actions have generally been settled for small amounts or dismissed due to lack of injury. Because, demonstrating and quantifying damages caused by a data breach can be difficult to show. With the CCPA, companies are vulnerable to potentially staggering damages in relation to a breach. Of course, this is in addition to revenue loss, damaged reputation, and lost customer trust. The CCPA allows consumers to seek statutory damages of between $100 and $750 (or actual damages if greater) against a company in the event of a data breach of PI that results from the company’s failure to implement reasonable security procedures. Putting this into context, a data breach affecting the PI of 100 California consumers may result in statutory damages ranging from $10,000 to $75,000, and a data breach affecting the PI of one million California consumers may result in statutory damages ranging from $100 million to $750 million.  These potential statutory damages dwarf almost every previous large data breach settlement in the US, and have the potential to see higher awards than we’ve seen with GDPR. It’s worth noting, though, that there is a 30-day cure period in which businesses can in some way remedy a data breach after receiving written notice from the consumer.  But, because the CCPA doesn’t define “cure,” it’s unclear how a business can successfully “cure” data security violations.  Prevention is better than cure. Your best chance of avoiding a breach and/or hefty fines afterward is to ensure your business has ‘reasonable’ security procedures implemented, including policies and other DLP solutions. While cybersecurity ROI is notoriously hard to measure, it’ll no doubt pale in comparison to the cost of a breach.  Learn how to communicate cybersecurity ROI to your CEO here. A successful private right of action by a consumer only applies to certain PI A couple of things need to happen before a Californian consumer can pursue this private right of action, including: The right only applies to data that is not encrypted or redacted. In other words, de-identified data or encrypted data is not subject to the private right of action or class action lawsuit.   The right only applies to limited types of PI – not the expansive definition found in the CCPA. This is a much more limited definition of PI than contemplated by the CCPA and, in practice, the majority of businesses’ data stores will not include this level of sensitive data.  The right does not apply if there has only been unauthorized access to data. There must also be exfiltration. This means that unsecured access to a cloud storage system on its own will not give rise to the right. There must also have been theft and unauthorized disclosures. For example, by an insider threat or nefarious third-party.   The harm to the consumer must flow from a violation of the business’s duty to implement reasonable security procedures. It will, therefore, be key for businesses to show a documented assessment of their security procedures in light of CCPA and to ensure a robust security program is in place to protect against data loss. If you are GDPR compliant, your infosec program is likely compliant The GDPR, somewhat similar to the CCPA, is vague when it comes to cybersecurity.  It makes data security a general obligation for all companies processing personal data from the European Union (EU) by requiring controllers and processors to implement “appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk”.  This means that companies controlling or processing EU personal data should have implemented comprehensive internal policies and procedures to be in compliance with the GDPR. This likely makes them CCPA-ready, but IT leaders should still review their security programs. The most important thing to know is that businesses affected by the CCPA will now be responsible for not only knowing what data they hold, but also how it’s controlled. In order to ensure compliance, the first step should be revisiting your cybersecurity program. And, while it may be surprising to some, cybercriminals actually aren’t your biggest threat when it comes to data loss. It’s actually your own employees. After all, it’s your people who control all of the data within your organization. But, you can empower them to work securely and prevent data loss with Tessian.
Prevent data loss with Tessian To err is human which means your employees may make mistakes that could lead to a potential breach under CCPA.  Traditionally legacy technology has leveraged hardware and software focused on the machine layer to fight cybersecurity risks. This, of course, doesn’t address the biggest problem, though: The Human Element.  Tessian leverages intelligent machine learning to secure the Human Layer in order to understand human relationships and communication patterns. Once Tessian knows what “normal” looks like, Tessian can automatically predict and prevent dangerous activity, including accidental data loss and data exfiltration.  People shouldn’t have to be security experts to do their job. Taking advantage of Tessian solutions can help your organization mitigate your employee’s mistakes and keep them productive which is a key component of a robust security program.
Compliance Data Loss Prevention Spear Phishing
Advice from Security Leaders for Security Leaders: How to Navigate New Remote-Working Challenges
15 April 2020
As a part of our ongoing efforts to help security professionals around the world manage their new remote workforces, we’ve been holding virtual panel discussions and roundtables with ethical hackers and security and compliance leaders from some of the world’s leading institutions to discuss cybersecurity best practice while working from home. Our panelists and speakers have included David Kennedy, Co-Founder and Chief Hacking Officer at TrustedSec, Jenna Franklin, Managing Counsel, Privacy & Data at Santander, Stacey Champagne, Head of Insider Threat at Blackstone, Ben Sadeghipour, Head of Hacker Education at HackerOne, Chris Turek, CIO at Evercore, Jon Washburn, CISO at Stoel Rives, Peter Keenan, CISO at Lazard, Gil Danieli, Director of Information security at Stroock, and Justin Daniels, General Counsel at Baker Donelson We’ve compiled some of the key takeaways to help IT, privacy, and security professionals and employees stay secure wherever they’re working.  Interested in joining a future roundtable? You can register here.
How to defend against spear phishing (inbound threats) Communicate new threats. Cybercriminals are carrying out opportunistic phishing attacks around COVID-19 and the mass transition from office-to-home. Keep employees in the loop by showing them examples of these threats. But, it’s important to not over-communicate. That means you should ensure there’s one point of contact (or source of truth) who shares updates at a regular, defined time and cadence as opposed to different people sharing updates as and when they happen. Create policies and procedures around authenticating requests. Communicating new threats isn’t enough to stop them. To protect your employees and your data, you should also set up a system for verifying and authorizing requests via a known communication channel. For example, if an employee receives an email requesting an invoice be paid, they should contact the relevant department or individual via phone before making any payments. Enable multi-factor authentication. This easy-to-implement security precaution helps prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing systems and data in the event a password is compromised.   Encourage reporting. Creating and maintaining a positive security culture is one of the best ways to help defend against phishing and spear phishing attacks. If employees make a habit of reporting new threats, security and IT teams have a better chance of remediating them and preventing future threats.  Update security awareness training. Remote-working brings with it a host of new security challenges. From the do’s and don’t of using personal devices to identifying new threat vectors for phishing, employees need to refresh their security know-how now more than ever.
How to defend against data exfiltration (outbound threats) Exercise strict control over your VPN. Whether it’s disabling split tunneling on your  VPN or limiting local admin access, it’s absolutely vital that you minimize lateral movements within your network. This will not only help prevent insider threats from stealing data, but it will also prevent hackers from moving quickly from one device to another.  Block downloads of software and applications. This is one of the easiest ways to minimize the attack vectors within your network. By preventing downloads by individual users, you’ll be able to exercise more control over the software and applications your employees use. This way, only vetted tools and solutions will be available for use.  Secure your cloud services. As workforces around the world are suddenly remote, cloud services are more important than ever. But, it’s important to ensure the infrastructure is configured properly in order to reduce risk. We recommend limiting access whenever possible (without impeding productivity) and creating policies around how to safely share documents externally. Create a system for onboarding and offboarding employees. Both negligent and malicious incidents of data exfiltration are on the rise. To prevent new starters or bad leavers from mishandling your data, make sure you create and communicate new policies for onboarding and offboarding employees. In order to be truly effective, this will need to be a joint effort between HR, IT and security teams. Update security awareness training. Again, remote-working brings with it a host of new security challenges. Give your employees the best chance of preventing data loss by updating your security awareness training. Bonus: Check your cybersecurity insurance. Organizations are now especially vulnerable to cyber attacks. While preventative measures like the above should be in place, if you have cybersecurity insurance, now is the time to review your policy to ensure you’re covered across both new and pre-existing threat vectors.  Our panelist cited two key points to review: If you are allowing employees to use personal devices for anything work-related, check whether personal devices are included in your insurance policy. Verify whether or not your policy places a cap on scams and social engineering attacks and scrutinize the language around both terms. In some instances, there may be different caps placed on these different types of attacks which means your policy may not be as comprehensive as you might have thought. For example, under your policy, what would a phishing attack fall under? 
How to stay compliant Share updated policies and detailed guides with employees. While employees may know and understand security policies in the context of an office environment, they may not understand how to apply them in the context of their homes. In order to prevent data loss (and fines), ensure your employees know exactly how to handle sensitive information. This could mean wearing a headset while on calls with clients or customers, avoiding any handwritten notes, and – in general – storing information electronically. Update security awareness training. As we’ve mentioned, organizations around the world have seen a spike in inbound attacks like phishing. And, when you consider that 91% of data breaches start with a phishing attack, you can begin to understand why it’s absolutely essential that employees in every department know how to catch a phish and are especially cautious and vigilant when responding to emails. Conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). As employees have moved out of offices and into their homes, businesses need to ensure personal data about employees and customers is protected while the employees are accessing it and while it’s in transit, wherever that may be. That means compliance teams need to consider localized regulations and compliance standards and IT and security teams have to take necessary steps to secure devices with software, restricted access, and physical security. Note: personal devices will also have to be safeguarded if employees are using those devices to access work.  Remember that health data requires special care. In light of COVID-19, a lot of organizations are monitoring employee health. But, it’s important to remember that health data is a special category under GDPR and requires special care both in terms of obtaining consent and how it’s processed and stored.  This is the case unless one of the exceptions apply. For example, processing is necessary for health and safety obligations under employment law. Likewise, processing is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health. An important step here is to update employee privacy notices so that they know what information you’re collecting and how you’re using it, which meets the transparency requirement under GDPR.   Revise your Business Continuity Plan (BCP). For many organizations, recent events will have been the ultimate stress test for BCPs. With that said, though, these plans should continually be reviewed. For the best outcome, IT, security, legal, and compliance teams should work cross-functionally. Beyond that, you should stay in touch with suppliers to ensure service can be maintained, consistently review the risk profile of those suppliers, and scrutinize your own plans, bearing in mind redundancies and furloughs.  Stay up-to-date with regulatory authorities. Some regulators responsible for upholding data privacy have been releasing guidance around their attitude and approach to organizations meeting their regulatory obligations during this public health emergency.  In some cases, fines may be reduced, there may be fewer investigations, they may stand down new audits, and – while they cannot alter statutory deadlines – there is an acknowledgment that there may be some delays in fulfilling certain requests such as Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs). The UK privacy regulator, the ICO, has said they will continue acting proportionately, taking into account the challenges organizations face at this time. But, regulators won’t accept excuses and they will take strong action against those who take advantage of the pandemic; this crisis should not be used as an artificial reason for not investing in security.  
Looking for more advice around remote-working and the new world of work? For more practical advice from security leaders for security leaders and privacy professionals, join us for our next virtual panel discussion on April 30. We’ve also created a hub with curated content around remote working security which we’ll be updating regularly with more helpful guides and tips.
Compliance Data Loss Prevention
Email: Your Data Security’s Weakest Link
15 November 2019
Email: Your Data Security’s Weak Link Emails are a crucial part of many work lives. We’re used to sending and receiving emails throughout the day, without much thought about the security of such exchanges. There’s a much bigger threat that originates from inside your organization. When an employee clicks that send button, they could potentially share sensitive information with the wrong recipient. Such mistakes carry high costs. It might compromise client data or confidential information, which causes your organization huge reputational damage and could hit your bottom-line. Not to mention the impact if the story leaks to the media. That level of reputational damage can take years to recover from. The biggest form of data loss Misdirected emails were reported by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to be the biggest form of data loss last year (and also the first quarter of 2018). Many companies are familiar with hacking as a form of data loss (hence the investment in physical database security, firewalls, and anti-virus) but less so with misdirected emails. Unfortunately, all the attributes of email that makes it so popular (that it’s a speedy, clear and common form of communication) are the very factors that make it such a risk. 95% of all security incidents involve human error. Many security systems that are focussed on keeping hackers out, are missing a vital part of defence – making sure sensitive information stays in. Email is the default means of communication The emails involved in this scenario are all outbound. That is, emails sent to other organizations or people outside of your own company domain. If you think about it, email is a pretty insecure way of sharing information. It can be hacked, end up with the wrong person, or send malware and spam itself. Worryingly, email still remains a means for many businesses to share confidential information. 89% of U.S. law firms use it as the main way to share information like case files or contracts. That’s despite 70% of them being aware of the risks and the importance of sharing files securely. It’s the default mode of communication for many companies, and that means we need to find ways of securing it. Firewalls and other security can only go so far. When an email is leaked, it could be your employees who are your weakest link. Employees can make mistakes It might even be unintentional on the part of an employee. If someone simply misspells a name or doesn’t realize others are copied into an email chain it can result in a data leak. Alternatively, their actions might be malicious and actually intending to cause harm to a company. Either way, the consequences are devastating for a business. Especially post-GDPR. Misdirected emails and GDPR For the few who are unaware, the EU’s  General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has strict stipulations on the use and sharing of personal data. Under GDPR, organizations could face a fine of up to €20 million or 4% of global revenue, whichever sum is greater. The fine depends on the severity of the data leak. So a leak of healthcare records or personal finance data is likely to attract a far greater fine than leaking email addresses. Even if the information shared isn’t customer data or personal information, there could be dire consequences. Imagine sharing client lists or your organization’s future product plans, business strategy or financial information with the wrong person. It only takes a few clicks before that information ends up in the hands of a competitor. Reputation and trust is damaged Data leaks are becoming increasingly common. The media has its eye fixed on any kind of data breach. Any company that leaks information, whether that’s through a hack or misdirected email, is likely to become front page news. Despite the saying, not all news is good for your company. Plus, there’s the significant loss of trust that occurs between organizations and consumers if a breach does occur. Especially if that information is highly sensitive, like the names and emails of attendees of a HIV clinic sent in an accidental group email. As you can see with this case, a breach could occur simply when someone doesn’t realize emails are inputted into a cc field and not blind-copied. The clinic was fined £180,000. A sum that would have been far greater had GDPR been enforced at the time. Other potential risks Then there’s the risks associated with an employee leaving their email account logged-in on a shared computer. They could also fail to lock their screen when leaving their computer. Alternatively, their laptop, phone or tablet could be stolen with their work email account still linked. When securing your emails, there’s definitely some employee education to be done. Make sure you communicate the risks of leaving inboxes on show or failing to lock screens. Employees must also understand how they can prevent misdirected emails and the consequences of such a leak. Identifying email leaks Of course, not all email leaks can be easily identified by organizations. Someone might maliciously forward an email. Others may accidentally send confidential information without realizing it. Under GDPR, there’s a requirement for any breach to be reported within 72 hours. Organizations need a way to track outbound emails and flag any misdirected emails. Luckily, there are tools like Tessian that notify you of any confidential information sent to personal email addresses or outside your organization. It also prevents misdirected emails from ever occurring. Prevention is your best cure. Once a leak has happened, it’s difficult to fully recover. It’s better to use machine learning and other technology to stop a breach occurring. Either through analyzing email addresses and flagging potential misdirected emails, or highlighting when employee behavior might cause a leak. Secure the outside and inside The risks of having a data leak are much higher compared to the past. GDPR has raised the stakes for many companies and also raised awareness about personal data security amongst consumers. Organizations need to ensure security is in top shape. However, most emphasis is placed on ways to keep hacks and database breaches from occurring. Not many business leaders have considered the risk of email leaks. This creates a chink in an otherwise impenetrable armor. You don’t just need to consider the dangers of people getting it, you also have to stop confidential information from getting out. Especially if it’s highly sensitive, which is often the case in the health and legal sectors.
Compliance
The Impact of POPI on Your Organization
30 September 2019
The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act is a piece of South African legislation that aims to ensure effective management of any personal data processed by both private and public bodies. The POPI Act became law in November 2013, but the Act has not yet been fully enacted. Once the implementation date is confirmed, organizations operating business in South Africa will have one year to ensure that they are POPI compliant. Personal data under POPI is defined as information that relates to an individual or juristic person. Gender, employment history and email address are a few examples of what POPI defines as personal information. Since there are different criteria for how organizations classify personal and non personal information, POPI will affect the way that organizations manage this. For example, organizations will have to take any consumer data that they may hold and classify what type of information it is. In the instance that a data breach occurs, organizations will have to report the breach to the Information Regulator as well as the affected parties. Under POPI, organizations could be fined up to R10 million (approximately £538k), and sentences could even could include jail time of up to 10 years depending on the seriousness of the breach. Finally, organizations could face significant reputational damage in the form of customer loss and limited ability to attract new clients. POPI and GDPR POPI makes it imperative for businesses based in and dealing with South Africa to comply with newly stringent data protection regulations, but South African businesses may be wondering how the Act intersects with other global data legislation. Rulings like he European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) also has ramifications for organizations around the world, of course. Businesses in South Africa that process customer data from the European Union must also ensure they are fully compliant with GDPR. How to remain POPI compliant Acknowledging the ever-present risk of data breaches is an essential part of the role for security leaders. Traditionally, data controllers tend to focus on malicious threats such as ransomware or brute force cyberattacks. However, human error is increasingly putting organizations at risk. For example, human error was the root cause of 30% of data breaches in South Africa, which is higher than the global average of 26%. Mistakes made due to human error could include an employee accidentally sending a misdirected email to the wrong recipient or hitting the “reply all” or “cc” field instead of “bcc.” In both cases, the employee is not acting maliciously, but the impact is that sensitive information is still exposed. POPI will have an impact on all companies in South Africa, but it will be particularly important for organizations that hold large amounts of personal information to take the right steps early on to ensure that they are POPI compliant. Implementing the right technology will help your organization stay proactive with your security strategy. Forward-thinking firms in all sectors are choosing Tessian to manage the way in which data moves on email. Enforcer and Constructor’s machine learning allows organizations to prevent data from being transferred to non-compliant destinations. With cutting-edge technology, businesses can ensure that they remain compliant amid changing regulations. To learn more about how Tessian could help you become POPI compliant, contact us here. 
Compliance
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Could Set a New Standard for Privacy and Data Security in the US
16 September 2019
In June 2018, privacy and data security standards in the United States were fundamentally overhauled. On January 1st 2020, when the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) becomes law, Californian citizens and businesses (and all businesses dealing with California) will have a very different relationship to data. The CCPA will allow all residents of California to know what personal information is being collected about them by for-profit companies operating in the state, whether it is sold, disclosed or simply held. Although the CCPA will only directly apply to California, its implementation will affect any organization doing business in California and which satisfies one of the following credentials: • Annual revenues of more than $25m • Possesses personal information of more than 50,000 consumers, households or devices • Generates over half its annual revenue from selling personal information When the CCPA comes into effect in January 2020, actions will need to be taken in order for organizations to remain compliant. For example, the CCPA will require companies to create a channel such as a toll-free number that can allow consumers to request information regarding how their data is being used. Parallels have been drawn between the CCPA and GDPR, with the CCPA requiring data privacy protections similar to those imposed by the European Union. Financial fines for data breaches under the CCPA will be less severe than the penalties under GDPR, capping at $7,500 per violation compared to the maximum cap of 4% of revenue / €20m (whichever is higher) for the most severe GDPR breaches. With the CCPA and GDPR in place, organizations will have their data management practices under the spotlight more than ever. Luckily, technological solutions exist that can mitigate the risk of data loss and the associated negative consequences for enterprises. Tessian’s Enforcer and Constructor filters help organizations manage the ways data moves on email. Enforcer’s and Constructor’s machine learning allows organizations to prevent data from being transferred to the wrong place, ensuring that enterprises can comply with evolving regulations. The general emphasis on tightening data security worldwide means that organizations will have to prioritize security in order to stay compliant and to uphold new privacy and security standards. To learn more about how Tessian can help you become CCPA-compliant, contact us here.
Compliance
The Week the ICO Bared Its Teeth
12 July 2019
Up until now, the consequences for GDPR non-compliance have been gossiped about but perhaps not been taken particularly seriously. That all changed after the ICO imposed staggering fines of £183 million on British Airways and £99 million on Marriott, following data breaches that compromised the personal data of thousands of customers. The news clearly shocked the business world; this is the first time the ICO has bared its teeth since GDPR came into force last year and the EU regulators have made it very clear that failure to comply with the rules will result in genuinely significant penalties. At a number of customer events we hosted this week, the blockbuster fines were on everyone’s minds. In particular, people were keen to discuss why the ICO fines were so high, with many agreeing it was because there was a lack of “demonstrating diligence” around the risk prior to the breaches. Indeed, the ICO said in its investigations that Marriott should have “done more to secure its systems”, while BA reportedly lacked “appropriate technical and organizational measures to prevent such an attack”. The message from the ICO is clear – businesses have a legal duty to ensure the security of data else face fines of up to 4% of the company’s annual turnover. While BA’s imposed fine stands at 1.5% of its annual revenue, it is still a significant blow (though it could have been much worse). We must also remember that in addition to the eye-watering fines, BA and Marriott will now also face damaging long-term effects on customer trust, company reputation and its share price. With so much at stake, the news will have sparked discussions in boardrooms across the world, with companies urgently taking stock of the security measures they have in place and evaluating whether they are properly protecting the data they process and hold. Any ‘gaps’ will need addressing quickly, looking to cybersecurity solutions that protect networks, devices and people. I am certain this won’t be the last time we hear about ‘record-breaking’ fines from the ICO this year. Each will serve a reminder to companies that they cannot be complacent when it comes to compliance; protecting data must be a priority.
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