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Compliance

Read our latest articles, tips and news on Compliance including GDPR, CCPA and other industry-specific regulations and compliance requirements.

DLP Compliance
20 Biggest GDPR Fines of 2019, 2020, and 2021 (So Far)
06 September 2021
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is among the world’s toughest data protection laws.  Under the GDPR, the EU’s data protection authorities can impose fines of up to up to €20 million (roughly $20,372,000), or 4 percent of worldwide turnover for the preceding financial year—whichever is higher. Since the GDPR took effect in May 2018, we’ve seen over 800 fines issued across the European Economic Area (EEA) and the U.K. Enforcement started off somewhat slow. But between July 18, 2020, and July 18, 2021, there was a significant increase in the size and quantity of fines, with total penalties surging by around 113.5%. And that was before the record-breaking fine against Amazon—announced by the company in its July 30 earnings report—which dwarfed the cumulative total of all GDPR fines up until that date. Let’s take a look at the biggest GDPR fines of 2019, 2020, 2021, explore what caused them, and consider how you can avoid being fined for similar violations. Looking for information about achieving and maintaining compliance? We explore solutions for reducing email risk (the #1 threat vector according to security leaders) on this page.
The biggest GDPR fines of 2019, 2020, and 2021 (so far) 1. Amazon — €746 million ($877 million) Amazon’s gigantic GDPR fine, announced in the company’s July 2021 earnings report, is nearly 15 times bigger than the previous record. The full reasons behind the fine haven’t yet been confirmed, but we know the cause has to do with cookie consent. And this isn’t the first time Amazon has been punished due to the way it collects and shares personal data via cookies. In late 2020, France fined Amazon €35 million after the tech giant allegedly failed to get cookie consent on its website. How the fine could have been avoided: It’s tempting to force users to “agree” to cookies—or make opting out of cookies difficult—to collect as much personal data as possible. But regulators have shown some serious appetite for enforcing the EU’s cookie rules recently. If Amazon had obtained “freely given”, informed, and unambiguous opt-in consent before setting cookies on its users’ devices, the company probably could have avoided this huge GDPR fine. 2. Google – €50 million ($56.6 million)  Google’s fine, levied in 2019 and finalized after an unsuccessful appeal in March 2020, was the largest on record until August 2021.  The case related to how Google provided privacy notice to its users—and how the company requested their consent for personalized advertising and other types of data processing. How the fine could have been avoided: Google should have provided more information to users in consent policies and granted them more control over how their personal data is processed. 3. H&M — €35 million ($41 million) On October 5, 2020 the Data Protection Authority of Hamburg, Germany, fined clothing retailer H&M €35,258,707.95 — the second-largest GDPR fine ever imposed at the time. H&M’s GDPR violations involved the “monitoring of several hundred employees.” After employees took vacation or sick leave, they were required to attend a return-to-work meeting. Some of these meetings were recorded and accessible to over 50 H&M managers. Senior H&M staff gained ”a broad knowledge of their employees’ private lives… ranging from rather harmless details to family issues and religious beliefs.” This “detailed profile” was used to help evaluate employees’ performance and make decisions about their employment. How the fine could have been avoided: H&M appears to have violated the GDPR’s principle of data minimization — don’t process personal information, particularly sensitive data about people’s health and beliefs, unless you need to for a specific purpose. H&M should also have placed strict access controls on the data, and the company should not have used this data to make decisions about people’s employment. 4. TIM – €27.8 million ($31.5 million) On January 15, 2020, Italian telecommunications operator TIM (or Telecom Italia) was stung with a €27.8 million GDPR fine from Garante, the Italian Data Protection Authority, for a series of infractions and violations that have accumulated over the last several years.  TIM’s infractions include a variety of unlawful actions, most of which stem from an overly aggressive marketing strategy. Millions of individuals were bombarded with promotional calls and unsolicited communications, some of whom were on non-contact and exclusion lists.   How the fine could have been avoided: TIM should have managed lists of data subjects more carefully and created specific opt-ins for different marketing activities. 5. British Airways – €22 million ($26 million) In October, the ICO hit British Airways with a $26 million fine for a breach that took place in 2018. This is considerably less than the $238 million fine that the ICO originally said it intended to issue back in 2019.   So, what happened back in 2018? British Airway’s systems were compromised. The breach affected 400,000 customers and hackers got their hands on log-in details, payment card information, and travelers’ names and addresses.   How the fine could have been avoided: According to the ICO, the attack was preventable, but BA didn’t have sufficient security measures in place to protect their systems, networks, and data. In fact, it seems BA didn’t even have basics like multi-factor authentication in place at the time of the breach.  Going forward, the airline should take a security-first approach, invest in security solutions, and ensure they have strict data privacy policies and procedures in place. 6. Marriott – €20.4 million ($23.8 million) While this is an eye-watering fine, it’s actually significantly lower than the $123 million fine the ICO originally said they’d levy. So, what happened?  383 million guest records (30 million EU residents) were exposed after the hotel chain’s guest reservation database was compromised. Personal data like guests’ names, addresses, passport numbers, and payment card information was exposed.  Note: The hack originated in Starwood Group’s reservation system in 2014. While Marriott acquired Starwood in 2016, the hack wasn’t detected until September 2018. How the fine could have been avoided: The ICO found that Marriott failed to perform adequate due diligence after acquiring Starwood. They should have done more to safeguard their systemswith a stronger data loss prevention (DLP) strategy and utilized de-identification methods.  7. Wind — €17 million ($20 million) On July 13, Italian Data Protection Authority imposed a fine of €16,729,600 on telecoms company Wind due to its unlawful direct marketing activities. The enforcement action started after Italy’s regulator received complaints about Wind Tre’s marketing communications. Wind reportedly spammed Italians with ads — without their consent — and provided incorrect contact details, leaving consumers unable to unsubscribe. The regulator also found that Wind’s mobile apps forced users to agree to direct marketing and location tracking and that its business partners had undertaken illegal data-collection activities.  How the fine could have been avoided: Wind should have established a valid lawful basis before using people’s contact details for direct marketing purposes. This probably would have meant getting consumers’ consent — unless it could  demonstrate that sending marketing materials was in its “legitimate interests.” For whatever reason you send direct marketing, you must ensure that consumers have an easy way to unsubscribe. And you must always ensure that your company’s Privacy Policy is accurate and up-to-date. 8. Vodafone Italia — €12.3 million ($14.5 million) Vodafone Italia’s November 2020 fine was issued in relation to a vast range of alleged GDPR violations, including provisions within Articles 5, 6, 7, 16, 21, 25, 32, and 33. So what did Vodafone do that resulted in so many GDPR violations?  The company’s data processing issues included failing to properly secure customer data, sharing personal data with third-party call centers, and processing without a legal basis—all brought to light after complaints about the company’s telemarketing campaign. How the fine could have been avoided: Vodafone’s marketing operations may have triggered the Italian DPA’s investigation, but the company’s data management and security were the fundamental issues here. Vodafone might have avoided this large fine by conducting regular audits of its data and properly documenting all relationships with third-party data processors. 9. Notebooksbilliger.de — €10.4 million ($12.5 million) German electronics retailer notebooksbilliger.de (NBB) received this significant GDPR fine on January 8, 2021. The penalty relates to how NBB used CCTV cameras to monitor its employees and customers. The CCTV system ran for two years, and NBB reportedly kept recordings for up to 60 days. NBB said it needed to record its staff and customers to prevent theft. The Lower Saxony DPA said the monitoring was an intrusion on its employees’ and customers’ privacy. How the fine could have been avoided: The NBB’s fine reflects strict attitudes towards CCTV monitoring in parts of Germany. The regulator said NBB’s CCTV program was not limited to a specific person or period. Using CCTV isn’t prohibited under the GDPR, but you must ensure it is a legitimate and proportionate response to a specific problem. The UK’s ICO has some guidance on using CCTV in a GDPR-compliant way. 10. Eni — €8.5 million ($10 million) Eni Gas e Luce (Eni) is an Italian gas and oil company that was found to have made marketing phone calls without a proper legal basis. While telemarketing is covered by the ePrivacy Directive, this is another example of how any processing of personal data without a proper legal basis can lead to a GDPR fine. How the fine could have been avoided: Eni should have ensured it had a proper legal basis for telemarketing before calling any of its customers or leads. In this case, the Italian DPA said that the proper lawful basis would have been consent. 11. Vodafone Spain — €8.15 million ($9.72 million) Vodafone’s €8.15 million fine, issued by the Spanish DPA (the AEPD) on March 11, 2021, is actually made up of four fines for violating the GDPR and other Spanish laws covering telecommunications and cookies. The Vodafone fine stands as Spain’s biggest yet—in a year that has seen the AEPD issue several substantial GDPR penalties. The fine results from 191 separate complaints regarding Vodafone’s marketing activity. Vodafone was alleged not to have taken sufficient organizational measures to ensure it was processing people’s personal data lawfully. How the fine could have been avoided: Vodafone’s complex series of legal violations all appear to have one thing in common: a lack of organization and control over personal data used for marketing purposes. Whenever you outsource any processing activity to a third party—for example, a marketing agency—you must ensure you have a clear legal basis for doing so.  Keep clear records, maintain data processing agreements with contractors, and regularly audit your processing activities to ensure they are lawful. 12. Google – €7 million ($8.3 million) From a GDPR enforcement perspective, 2020 was not a good year for Google.  Along with the company losing its appeal against French DPA in January, March saw the Swedish Data Protection Authority of Sweden (SDPA) fining Google for neglecting to remove a pair of search result listings under Europe’s GDPR “right to be forgotten” rules.  How the fine could have been avoided: Google should have fulfilled the rights of data subjects, primarily their right to be forgotten. This is also known as the right to erasure. How? By “ensuring a process was in place to respond to requests for erasure without undue delay and within one month of receipt.”  You can find more information about how to comply with requests for erasure from the ICO here.  13. Caixabank — €6 million ($7.2 million) This fine against financial services company Caixabank is the largest fine ever issued by the Spanish DPA (the AEPD).  The AEPD finalized Caixabank’s penalty on January 13, 2021, breaking Spain’s previous record GDPR fine, against BBVA — issued just one month earlier. This suggests a significant toughening of approach from the Spanish DPA. The first issue, which accounts for €4 million of the total fine, related to how Caixabank established a “legal basis” for using consumers’ personal data under Article 6. Second, Caixabank was fined €2 million for violating the GDPR’s transparency requirements at Articles 13 and 14.  How the fine could have been avoided: The AEPD said Caixabank relied on the legal basis of “legitimate interests” without proper justification. Before you rely on “legitimate interests,” you must conduct and document a “legitimate interests assessment.”  The company also failed to obtain consumers’ consent in a GDPR-compliant way. If you’re relying on “consent,” make sure it meets the GDPR’s strict “opt in” standards. The AEPD criticized Caixabank’s privacy policy as providing vague and inconsistent information about its data processing practices. Make sure you use clear language in your privacy notices and keep them consistent across websites and platforms. 14. BBVA (bank) — €5 million ($6 million) This fine against financial services giant BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria) dates from December 11, 2020.  The BBVA’s penalty is the second biggest that the Spanish DPA (the AEPD) has ever imposed, and it shares many similarities with the AEPD’s largest-ever penalty, against Caixabank, issued the following month. Taken together with the record fine against Caixabank, it’s tempting to conclude that the Spanish DPA has its eye on the GDPR compliance of financial institutions. How the fine could have been avoided: The AEPD fined BBVA €3 million for sending SMS messages without obtaining consumers’ consent. In most circumstances, you must ensure you have GDPR-valid consent for sending direct marketing messages. The remaining €2 million of the penalty related to BBVA’s privacy policy, which failed to properly explain how the bank collected and use its customers’ personal data. Make sure you include all the necessary information under Articles 13 and 14 in your privacy policy. 15. Fastweb — €4.5 million ($5.5 million) Italy’s DPA (the Garante) fined telecoms company Fastweb €4.5 million on April 2 2021 for engaging in unsolicited telephone marketing without consent. In particular, the Garanta noted that Fastweb was using “fraudulent” telephone numbers that the company had not registered with Italy’s Register of Communication Operators. How the fine could have been avoided: Fastweb’s fine derives from telemarketing rules that are set out in Italy’s implementation of the ePrivacy Directive, rather than the GDPR. However, the company still appears to have violated the GDPR by failing to obtain valid consent. It’s important to remember this interplay between the EU’s main privacy laws. The ePrivacy Directive requires you to obtain consent for certain activities, but the GDPR sets the standard of consent—and the standard is very high. 16. Eni Gas e Luce — €3 million ($3.6 million) This fine is one of two imposed on the Italian gas and oil company Eni in December 2019. This is a complicated case involving the creation of new customer accounts—but it boils down to the failure of Eni to obey the GDPR’s principle of accuracy. How the fine could have been avoided: Data protection is about more than just privacy—it also covers issues like records management. Eni should have ensured its customer records were kept accurate and up-to-date. 17. Capio St. Göran AB — €2.9 million ($3.4 million) Capio St. Goran is a Swedish healthcare provider that received a GDPR fine following an audit of one of its hospitals by the Swedish DPA. The audit revealed that the company had failed to carry out appropriate risk assessments and implement effective access controls. As a result, too many employees had access to sensitive personal data. How the fine could have been avoided: Conducting a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is mandatory under the GDPR for controllers undertaking certain risky activities or handling large-scale sensitive data. Eni should have conducted such an assessment to determine which staff required access to medical records. Access to sensitive personal data should be restricted to those who strictly require it. 18. Iren Mercato — €2.85 million ($3.4 million) In June 2021, the Italian DPA fined energy company Iren Mercato for carrying out a telephone marketing campaign without obtaining proper consent. The phone calls were conducted by a third party marketing company acting as a data processor. How the fine could have been avoided: Many of the fines on our list relate to telemarketing and the failure to obtain GDPR-valid consent. Remember that even when using third-party services to conduct marketing campaigns, you could still be directly liable under the GDPR if you fail to establish a valid legal basis for processing personal data. 19. Foodinho — €2.6 million ($3 million) Groceries delivery service Foodinho received this substantial fine in June 2021, after the Italian DPA found the company had failed to obey the GDPR’s rules on “automated processing,” in this case the use of an algorithm to determine employees’ wages and workflow. The company was also found to have violated the GDPR’s principle of “lawfulness, fairness, and transparency” by failing to provide employees with adequate information. How the fine could have been avoided: Foodinho’s fine mainly relates to a relatively niche area of GDPR compliance—”solely automated processing with legal or similarly significant effects.”  In short, if you’re making purely AI-driven decisions about people that could impact on their finances, employment, or access to services, you must ensure you provide a human review of such decisions. 20. National Revenue Agency (Bulgaria) — €2.6 million ($3 million) This August 2019 fine against Bulgaria’s National Revenue Agency was issued after the organization suffered a data breach affecting 5 million people. The breached data included people’s names, contact details, and tax information. The Bulgarian DPA found that the agency failed to take effective technical and organizational measures to protect the personal data under its control. How the fine could have been avoided: The Bulgarian National Revenue should have conducted a thorough risk assessment of its processing operations and taken effective steps to safeguard personal data. While it’s not clear what caused this data breach, it’s worth noting that the FBI’s Internet Crime Control Center cites email as the number one threat vector in cybercrime.  By securing your company’s email systems, you’re cutting off one of your major vulnerabilities and significantly reducing the likelihood of a data breach.
What else can organizations be fined for under GDPR?  While the biggest fines involve marketing activities, failure to remove personal data when requested by EU citizens, and unlawfully requiring employees to have their biometric data recorded, there are a number of ways in which a breach can occur.  In fact, so far this year, misdirected emails have been the primary cause of data loss reported to the ICO. But, how do you prevent an accident? By focusing on people rather than systems and networks. How does Tessian help organizations stay GDPR compliant?
Powered by machine learning, Tessian’s Human Layer Security technology understands human behavior and relationships, enabling it to automatically detect and prevent anomalous and dangerous activity, including misdirected emails. Tessian also detects and prevents spear phishing attacks and data exfiltration attempts on email.  Importantly, though, Tessian doesn’t just prevent breaches. Tessian’s key features – which are both proactive and reactive – align with the GDPR requirement “to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures together with a process for regularly testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of those measures to ensure the security of processing” (Article 32). To learn more about how Tessian helps with GDPR compliance, you can check out this page, our customer stories or book a demo. 
Spear Phishing DLP Compliance
5 Cyber Risks In Manufacturing Supply Chains
26 August 2021
When it comes to supply chain risks, cybersecurity and data loss are top of mind for security analysts and other professionals.  The EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) notes that there has been a marked increase in such attacks since early 2020—and that most supply chain attacks target data (mainly personal information and intellectual property). Manufacturers are typically involved in long and complex supply chains with many actors, making them particularly vulnerable to disruption and malicious activity in the supply chain.  You must protect against these risks. Keep reading to learn more, including prevention tips.  5 manufacturing supply chain cyber risks First, let’s look at five crucial supply chain cyber risks for manufacturers.  We’ll then consider how manufacturers can improve their supply chain cybersecurity, referencing some real-life examples. 1. Intellectual property theft One major concern for manufacturers is that third parties in their supply chain may abuse their access to intellectual property and other valuable or sensitive data. According to research by Kroll, guarding against supply chain IP theft is a priority for nearly three-quarters of companies. Even if all your supply chain partners are legitimate, there is always the possibility that a rogue employee could steal your IP or trade secrets and pass them on to your competitors. Don’t believe us? Check out these 17 examples of real-world insider threats.  2. Supply chain attacks Supply chain attacks leverage security vulnerabilities to steal data and spread malware such as ransomware. Some recent high-profile supply chain attacks include the attacks on software companies Solarwinds and Kaseya. These incidents involved software vendors pushing compromised updates to their customers, resulting in widespread malware infections. There’s a reason that supply chains are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks. The more organizations are involved in a manufacturing process, the greater the likelihood that one of the members will fall victim to a cyberattack and spread malware to their business partners. But that doesn’t mean that the chain is “only as strong as its weakest link.” A well-defended organization can stop a supply chain attack in its tracks.  Case study: supply chain attack Here’s an example of a supply chain attack that leveraged email in an attempt to undermine a company’s security defenses. This type of threat is known as an “account take over” (ATO) attack. The cybercriminals targeted a medium-sized construction firm by first infiltrating one of the company’s trusted vendors. The attackers managed to take over the email account of one of this vendor’s employees. By reading the employee’s emails, the criminals learned that the employee was in contact with several high-ranking staff members at the construction firm. After observing the employee’s communication patterns and email style, the attackers then used the mailbox to send phishing emails to a targeted group of individuals at the construction firm. The phishing emails encouraged the recipients to click a link to a cloud storage folder, claiming that the folder contained a request for a proposal. Clicking the link would have downloaded malware onto the recipient’s device. Protecting against supply chain attacks Protecting against supply chain attacks requires a comprehensive cybersecurity policy, including staff training, network defenses, and security software. Implementing email security software is a vital part of your defensive strategy in the case of email-based supply chain attacks, such as the one above. The case study above is a real-life example of how Tessian, a comprehensive email security solution driven by machine learning, can help thwart supply chain attacks.  Tessian Defender scans inbound emails for suspicious activity. The software also learns your employees’ communication patterns to understand what constitutes “normal” email activity. In the attack described above, Tessian noted several subtle signs—including the sender’s location and choice of cloud storage platform—suggesting that the email could be part of a supply chain attack. Tessian alerted the employee to the potential danger, and the supply chain attack was averted.  It’s important to note that legacy email security software, which normally operates on a “rule-based” basis, can fall short when it comes to sophisticated account take-over attacks like this.  Tessian was not the only security product this construction firm was running. But it was the only one to spot the attack. 3. Compromised hardware and software Malicious actors can compromise hardware and software during the manufacturing process, creating vulnerabilities that are passed on down the supply chain or to equipment end-users. Hardware can be tampered with at any stage in the supply chain. As a manufacturer, you might obtain compromised hardware—or malicious actors could interrupt the manufacturing process downstream, tampering with products to install rootkits or other technologies. But as a manufacturer, you must also protect against threats in your own portion of the supply chain—where internal or external actors could interfere with the products or components you create. Case study: compromised software In August 2020, reports emerged that Chinese phone manufacturer Transsion had shipped thousands of mobile devices containing pre-installed malware that signed users up to subscription services without their consent. The pre-installed malware, known as Triada, automatically downloads and installs a trojan called “xHelper” that cannot be easily removed by users. The program covertly submits requests for subscription products at the user’s expense. Transsion blamed a malicious actor in its supply chain for installing Triada on its devices—but the culprit has yet to be discovered. Defending against software compromise One step towards to avoiding any type of malicious actor in your supply chain is conducting thorough due diligence. Identify and document all supply chain partners—as mentioned, you could be accountable for their malicious or negligent activity. Integrating cybersecurity measures into your quality assurance regime may also be a way to prevent upstream malicious actors from tampering with firmware before your manufacturing process takes place. And as we’ve seen, it’s crucial to protect your own systems from cyberattacks—which means ensuring the security of key communications channels like email. 4. Downstream software or hardware security vulnerabilities It’s vital to protect data against access by other parties in your supply chain. But even if you could trust your supply chain partners not to steal your data, you must also ensure that they don’t make it accessible to unauthorized third parties. No matter how much work you put into protecting your own systems from unauthorized access, your efforts could be rendered futile due to software or hardware vulnerabilities among other parties downstream. 5. Legal non-compliance In addition to maintaining poor cybersecurity practices that directly impact your own organization’s security, third parties in the supply chain may follow poor information security practices for which you could be liable. Case study: third-party legal non-compliance In 2019 a U.K. pharmaceuticals company was fined after a third-party contractor left documents containing personal information publicly accessible in unsecured containers.  Under the GDPR, “data controllers” are responsible for many of the actions of their service providers. As such, the pharmaceuticals company was deemed liable for the error. The firm received a fine and engaged in a drawn-out legal battle with the U.K.’s data regulator. Mitigating poor security practices among third parties Research is crucial to ensure you’re working with reputable third parties that will undertake compliant and responsible data protection practices. Contracts stipulating particular security measures are also important. Such agreements can also contain contractual clauses that serve to indemnify your company against legal violations by the other party. Under some data protection laws, including the GDPR and the upcoming Colorado Privacy Act, service providers processing personal information on another company’s behalf are required to submit to audits and inspections. Routinely inspecting the data security practices of your vendors and other service providers is an excellent way to ensure they are meeting their compliance obligations on your behalf. How to prevent manufacturing supply chain risks   In general, manufacturers can manage cyber risks in supply chains via a robust and comprehensive cybersecurity program. Here are some key cybersecurity principles for supply chain management from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST): Assume your systems will be breached. This means considering not only how to defend against breaches, but determining how you will mitigate breaches once they have occurred. Think beyond technology. Cybersecurity is also about people, processes, and knowledge. Cybersecurity also means physical security. Threat actors can use physical security vulnerabilities to launch cyberattacks. Implementing a cybersecurity framework is key to defending against supply chain threats. Manufacturers of any size can work towards cybersecurity framework compliance, implementing controls according to their resources and priorities. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework Version Manufacturing Profile: NISTIR 8183 Revision 1 is an excellent starting point for manufacturers. For more information about the NIST framework, read our article on NIST and email security. More specifically, manufacturers should be taking the following steps to protect their data and systems in supply chains: Identify and document all supply chain members Conduct careful due diligence on parties in the supply chain Require supply chain partners to contractually agree to maintain good cybersecurity and data protection practices Ensure inbound communications (particularly via email) are scanned for signs of phishing and other social engineering attacks Scan outbound communications to prevent data loss Ensure all employees are aware of the risks and their responsibilities Email is a key supply chain vulnerability Of all the risks inherent to working in a supply chain, cyberattacks are perhaps the most critical in the current climate.  As ENISA notes, most supply chain attacks use malware to target company data. We also know that 96% of phishing attacks—which are the primary means of infecting business networks with malware—take place via email. The bottom line: email security is a crucial step for manufacturers to defend against supply chain cyber risks.  Find out more about how Tessian can help with the resources below. ⚡ Tessian Platform Overview ⚡ Customer Stories ⚡ Book a Demo
Compliance
NIST Cybersecurity Framework and Email Security
25 August 2021
If you’re looking to improve your organization’s cybersecurity, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework provides an excellent starting point. Compliance with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework enables you to: Describe your current cybersecurity posture (“Current Profile”) Identify your target cybersecurity state (“Target Profile”) Continuously identify and prioritize vulnerabilities While email security isn’t the only component, it is a vital component of your organization’s overall cybersecurity program. So how can levelling up your email security bring you closer towards your NIST Target Profile? First, let’s look at the overall structure of the Framework. Then we’ll consider how developing your organization’s email security is a key step towards NIST Cybersecurity Framework compliance. NIST Cybersecurity Framework Structure At its broadest level, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework consists of three parts: Core, Profile, and Tiers (or “Implementation Tiers”). Core: Functions, Categories, Subcategories Think of the Core of the NIST Framework as a three-layered structure. At its topmost level, the Core consists of five Functions: Identify: Develops an organizational understanding to manage cybersecurity Protect: Outlines appropriate cybersecurity safeguards Detect: Outlines cybersecurity activities designed to detect incidents Respond: Outlines cybersecurity activities to take during an incident Recover: Outlines cybersecurity activities to take after an incident Then, at the next level down, each Function consists of Categories focusing on business outcomes. There are 23 Categories split across the five Functions. Here are a few examples of some of the NIST Framework’s Categories: Risk Assessment (ID.RA) Data Security (PR.DS) Detection Processes (DE.DP) Mitigation (RS.MI) Improvements (RC.IM) At the bottom level, each Category consists of a set of Subcategories and Informative References.  Subcategories are more specific statements of an intended business outcome, while Informative References provide further technical detail available outside of the Framework. For example, under the Data Security (PR.DS) Category sit eight Subcategories, including the following: PR.DS-1: Data-at-rest is protected PR.DS-2: Data-in-transit is protected PR.DS-3: Assets are formally managed throughout removal, transfers, and disposition And here are some of the Informative References accompanying PR.DS-1: Data-at-rest is protected: Center for Internet Security (CIS) Controls 13 and 14 COBIT 5 Management Practices APO01.06, BAI02.01, and BAI06.01, ISO/IEC 27001:2013 A.8.2.3 Check out the full framework for reference.  Tiers The Tiers represent different degrees to which organizations may implement the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. There are four Tiers: Tier 1: Partial — Security controls are implemented on an “ad hoc” or sometimes reactive basis. External partners often assist with the cybersecurity program. Tier 2: Risk Informed — Implementation of controls is informed by risk objectives. Security awareness may not be standardized across the entire organization. Not all threats are proactively met. Tier 3: Repeatable — Risk management practices are formal organizational policy. Employees are well-informed about security in the context of their roles. The organization’s security is understood in the broader context of supply chains and partnerships. Tier 4: Adaptive — The organization can adapt its cybersecurity practices based on priorities and past experience. Security risks are taken seriously by senior management on par with financial risks. Formalized security processes are integrated into workflows. You can choose the Tier most appropriate to you, depending on factors such as your resource level, organizational maturity, and compliance demands. Profiles Profiles allow you to adapt the Framework to meet the needs of your organization.  Establishing your Current Profile and determining a Target Profile provides a systematic way for you to work through the Functions, implementing the Categories and Subcategories that are most relevant to your organization. Your organization’s size and resource levels may help to determine an appropriate Target Profile. But you can also consider the business context in which you operate — or the cybersecurity threats that are most likely to impact you.  NIST recently released a preliminary draft profile for managing the threat of ransomware, which we’ll look at later in this article.  Email security in the NIST Framework In the current cybersecurity climate, email security is a key consideration for business leaders. In fact, email is the attack vector security leaders are most worried about. We know that email serves as a key vector for ransomware, phishing, data exfiltration, and other increasingly widespread attacks and incidents.   Around 96% of phishing attacks start via email Spear phishing emails are the most common delivery method for ransomware Other email-based threats, such as Business Email Compromise, cost organizations billions each year. As such, you can mitigate some of the most serious and destructive security threats by ensuring your organization operates a highly secure email system. Now we’re going to look at some of the Categories from across the NIST Cybersecurity Framework’s five Functions, and identify how maintaining robust email security can help you meet NIST Cybersecurity Framework outcomes. Asset Management (ID.AM) Asset Management (ID.AM): “The data, personnel, devices, systems, and facilities that enable the organization to achieve business purposes are identified and managed consistent with their relative importance to organizational objectives and the organization’s risk strategy.” Effective asset management means ensuring you have overall knowledge and understanding of your organization’s inventory, information flows, and personnel. How is asset management relevant to email security? Well, understanding your organization’s communication networks and data flows is a vital part of asset management, and email is the primary means of communication for most companies. The ID.AM-3 Subcategory requires that “organizational communication and data flows are mapped.” Mapping communication flows is the first step in detecting email cybersecurity events and creating a data loss prevention (DLP) strategy. An effective email security solution will use machine learning technology to establish employees’ communications networks. Want to learn more about DLP? Check out these resources: ⚡ [Research] The State of Data Loss Prevention ⚡ Why is Email DLP So Important? Awareness and Training (PR.AT) Awareness and Training: “The organization’s personnel and partners are provided cybersecurity awareness education and are trained to perform their cybersecurity related duties and responsibilities consistent with related policies, procedures, and agreements.” Security awareness training should always feature extensive information about social engineering attacks.  Phishing, spear phishing, Business Email Compromise (BEC) — social engineering attacks that occur almost exclusively via email — rely on manipulating people into taking certain actions that expose data or compromise security. Therefore, email security training is essential to meet the outcome associated with the PR.AT-1 Subcategory: “All users are informed and trained.” But we know that, while essential, security training is not enough to tackle serious cybersecurity threats. Data Security (PR:DS) Data Security: “Information and records (data) are managed consistent with the organization’s risk strategy to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.” Preventing data loss via email is a core requirement in maintaining data security. Email is at the root of most data breaches, whether due to phishing and other social engineering attacks, or “accidental” breaches involving misdirected emails or misattached files. Preventing data loss via email is a key step towards meeting the outcome for Subcategory PR.DS 5: “Protections against data leaks are maintained.” Unless there is an operational requirement for data to leave your organization, your email security software should prevent it from doing so. Effective email security software can detect and prevent unauthorized data transfers. Learn more about how Tessian prevents data loss below.  Anomalies and Events (DE.AE) Anomalies and Events: “Anomalous activity is detected and the potential impact on events is understood.” How does this Category tie in with email security? Well, most cyberattacks rely on email as the route through an organization’s defenses. So detecting and analyzing anomalous activity across your email activity is essential. Within the “Anomalies and Events” Category, the following Subcategories are particularly relevant to email security: DE.AE-1: “A baseline of network operations and expected data flows for users and systems is established and managed” — To detect anomalous email activity, your email security solution must understand what “normal” email looks like relative to each of your users. DE.AE-3: “Event data are collected and correlated from multiple sources and sensors” — Email attacks can be particularly sophisticated, relying on social engineering techniques to manipulate users. Effective email security software requires a large amount of data. Security Continuous Monitoring (DE.CM) Security Continuous Monitoring: “The information system and assets are monitored to identify cybersecurity events and verify the effectiveness of protective measures.” Monitoring your organization’s email activity is a crucial element in your overall security continuous monitoring efforts. The following “Security Continuous Monitoring” Subcategories are of particular relevance to email security: DE.CM-3: “Personnel activity is monitored to detect potential cybersecurity events” — External emails are only part of your email security battle. Compromised or spoofed corporate email accounts should also be monitored as they can be used for internal phishing attacks. DE.CM-7: “Monitoring for unauthorized personnel, connections, devices, and software is performed” — Implementing email security software that scans email communication for suspicious text and attachments could help meet this outcome. Detection Processes (DE:DP) Detection Processes: “Detection processes and procedures are maintained and tested to ensure awareness of anomalous events.” This means any email security solution must be continuously monitored and improved to ensure it can defend against the latest cyberattacks. Here are some relevant “Detection Processes” Subcategories: DE.DP-4: “Event detection information is communicated” — Your email security software should notify both the affected user and IT administrators when a suspicious event occurs. DE.DP-5: “Detection processes are continuously improved” — Email security systems should be continuously learning and updating to adapt to emerging threats. NIST Preliminary Draft Ransomware Profile In June 2021, NIST published Preliminary Draft NISTIR 8374 — Cybersecurity Framework Profile for Ransomware Risk Management. Ransomware is becoming the most severe cybersecurity threat in the current threat landscape. Because many, if not most, ransomware attacks start via email, improving your organization’s email security and its ransomware defense posture go hand-in-hand. As mentioned above, setting a Target Profile is an important step in implementing the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. To defend against the increasingly serious ransomware threat, you may choose to work towards the Ransomware Risk Management Profile. Implementing the draft Profile means achieving numerous Category outcomes from across all five Functions. We won’t go into the full details of the Profile here, but we recommend checking it out — particularly in the current threat climate.  Learn more about Tessian Human Layer Security  Tessian is a modern email security solution driven by machine learning. As well as monitoring inbound and outbound emails for signs of phishing, malicious attachments, data exfiltration, and accidental data loss, Tessians scans your employees’ email activity to learn how they “normally” act, and flags suspicious behavior. This intelligent, context-driven approach means Tessian will allow your employees to work uninterrupted, and access the legitimate files and links they need across devices — while being alerted to anomalous and suspicious email content.  Tessian’s in-the-moment warnings help reinforce training and nudge employees towards safer behavior over time. Tessian’s Human Layer Security platform uses machine learning (ML), anomaly detection, behavioral analysis, and natural language processing (NLP) to detect a variety of suspicious signals:  Unusual sender characteristics: This includes anomalous geophysical locations, IP addresses, email clients, and reply-to addresses. Anomalous email sending patterns: Based on historical email analysis, Tessian can identity unusual recipients, unusual send times, and emails sent to an unusual number of recipients in order to detect malicious inbound emails and suspicious outbound emails. Malicious payloads: Tessian uses URL match patterns to spot suspicious URLs and ML to identify red flags indicative of suspicious attachments. Deep content inspection: Looking at the email content – for example, language that conveys suspicious intent – Tessian can detect zero-payload attacks, too. Learn more about how Tessian can transform your organization’s cybersecurity program.
Spear Phishing Compliance
Where Does Email Security Fit Into the MITRE ATT&CK Framework?
13 August 2021
If you’re aiming to achieve compliance with the MITRE ATT&CK Framework, email security will be among your top priorities. Why? Because securing your organization’s email is critical to detect, mitigate, and defend against some of the most widespread and harmful online threats. In this article, we’ll offer a brief overview of the MITRE ATT&CK framework, then consider which attack techniques you can mitigate by improving your organization’s email security. MITRE ATT&CK Framework 101 Here’s a brief introduction to the MITRE ATT&CK framework.  Outlining the framework is important as it’ll help you see how its components tie in with your email security program. But feel free to skip ahead f you already know the basics. ATT&CK stands for Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge. The ATT&CK framework has three iterations—ATT&CK for Enterprise, ATT&CK for Mobile, and Pre-ATT&CK. We’re focusing on ATT&CK for Enterprise, covering threats to Windows, macOS, Linux, AWS, GCP, Azure, Azure AD, Office 365, SaaS, and Network environments. You can check out the Mobile Matrices here, and the PRE Matric here. MITRE ATT&CK tactics, techniques, sub-techniques, and mitigations At the core of the framework is the ATT&CK matrix—a set of “Tactics” and corresponding “Techniques” used by “Adversaries” (threat actors). The ATT&ACK for Enterprise matrix includes 14 Tactics: TA0043: Reconnaissance TA0042: Resource Development TA0001: Initial Access TA0002: Execution TA0003: Persistence TA0004: Privilege Escalation TA0005: Defense Evasion TA0006: Credential Access TA0007: Discovery TA0008: Lateral Movement TA0009: Collection TA0011: Command and Control TA0010: Exfiltration TA0040: Impact Think of these Tactics as the Adversary’s main objectives. For example, under the “Collection” Tactic (TA0009), the adversary is “trying to gather data of interest to their goal.” If you want to learn more about these tactics, or see a full list of the Techniques, Sub-Techniques, and Mitigations we mention below, click here.  A set of Techniques and sometimes “Sub-Techniques” is associated with each Tactic. Techniques are the methods an Adversary uses to achieve their tactical objectives. Sub-Techniques are variations on certain Techniques. We won’t list all the MITRE ATT&CK Techniques here, but we’ll identify some relevant to email security in just a second. But first (and finally) there are “Mitigations”—methods of preventing or defending against adversaries. Examples of Mitigations include M1041: “Encrypt Sensitive Information,” and M1027: “Password Policies.” Back to email security… MITRE and Email Security Now we’ll identify the MITRE ATT&CK framework Tactics and Techniques that are relevant to email security specifically. We’ll consider MITRE’s recommended Mitigations and look at how you can align your email security program to meet the framework’s requirements. Technique T1566: Phishing “Phishing” is a MITRE ATT&CK Technique associated with the “Initial Access” Tactic (TA0001). As you’ll probably know, phishing is a type of social engineering attack—usually conducted via email—where an adversary impersonates a trusted person and brand and attempts to trick their target into divulging information, downloading malware, or transferring money. Want more information about phishing? Start by checking out What is Phishing? The MITRE ATT&CK framework identifies both targeted phishing attacks (a technique known as “spear phishing”) and more general phishing attacks (conducted in bulk via spam emails). Now let’s look at the three Sub-Techniques associated with the Phishing Technique. 📎 T1566.001: Spearphishing Attachment Sub-Technique T1566.001 involves sending a spear phishing email with a malicious attachment. The attachment is malware, such as a virus, spyware, or ransomware file that enables the adversary to harm or gain control of the target device or system. A spear phishing attachment is usually disguised as a harmless Office, PDF, or ZIP file, and legacy email security software and spam filters can struggle to determine whether an attachment is malicious. The spear phishing email itself will usually try to persuade the target to open the file. The Adversary may impersonate a trusted person and can even provide the target with instructions on opening the file that will bypass system protections. For more information about malicious email attachments, read What is a Malicious Payload? 🔗  T1566.002: Spearphishing Link Alternatively to using a malicious attachment, a spear phishing email can include a link that leads to a malicious site such as a fraudulent account login page or a webpage that hosts a malicious download. Like with the “Spearphishing Attachment” Sub-Technique, the “Spearphishing Link” Sub-Technique will normally employ social engineering methods—this time as a way to persuade the target to click the malicious link. For example, the spear phishing email may be disguised as a “security alert” email from Microsoft, urging the target to log into their account. Upon following the link and “logging in,” the target’s login credentials will be sent to the adversary. We’ve written in detail about this type of attack in our article What is Credential Phishing? 📱T1566.003: Spearphishing via Service The “Spearphishing via Service” Sub-Technique uses platforms other than email to initiate a spearphishing attack—for example, a LinkedIn job post or WhatsApp message. This Sub-Technique is not directly related to email security—but email security is still relevant here. For example, if an Adversary is able to establish rapport with their target via social media, then they might follow up with a spear phishing email. ❌ Phishing Detection and Mitigation Now let’s look at which Mitigations MITRE recommends for dealing with the Phishing Technique and its three associated Sub-Techniques: M1049: Antivirus/Antimalware — Quarantine suspicious files arriving via email. M1031: Network Intrusion Prevention — Monitor inbound email traffic for malicious attachments and links. M1021: Restrict Web-Based Content — Block access to web-based content and file types that are not necessary for business activity. M1054: Software Configuration — Use anti-spoofing methods to detect invalid Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) signatures. M1017: User Training — Educate employees to help them detect signs of a phishing attack. Note: None of MITRE’s recommended Phishing Mitigations is sufficient on its own.  Antivirus Software, for example, can quarantine malicious files but is less likely to detect suspicious links. User Training helps embed a security-focused workplace culture—but you can’t expect employees to recognize sophisticated social engineering scenarios. To prevent phishing attacks, it’s vital security leaders take a layered approach, including training, policies, and technology. Your best bet when it comes to technology? A next-gen email security solution that can automatically scan internal and external email communication for signs of malicious activity based on historical analysis.  Email security software can use several methods of detecting phishing attacks. Older solutions rely on techniques such as labeling and filtering—an administrator manually inputs the domain names, file types, and subject lines that the software should block. Tessian is a modern email security solution driven by machine learning. As well as monitoring inbound emails for signs of phishing, the software scans your employees’ email activity to learn how they “normally” act, and flags suspicious behavior. This intelligent, context-driven approach means Tessian will allow your employees to work uninterrupted, access the legitimate files and links they need— while being alerted to anomalous and suspicious email content. 
These in-the-moment warnings help reinforce training, and nudges employees towards safer behavior over time.  Download the Tessian Platform Overview to learn more.  Technique T1534: Internal Spearphishing The “Internal Spearphishing” Technique is associated with the “Lateral Movement” Tactic (TA0008) and is distinct from the “Phishing” Technique. Internal Spearphishing takes place once an adversary has already penetrated your system or account. The adversary leverages existing account access to conduct an internal spear phishing campaign. Internal Spearphishing is particularly damaging because the emails come from a genuine (albeit compromised) account. This makes them virtually impossible to spot, and therefore very persuasive. Internal Spearphishing Detection and Mitigations MITRE notes that detecting an Internal Spearphishing attack (also known as Account Takeover) can be difficult. There are no mitigations associated with the “Internal Spearphishing” Technique in the MITRE ATT&CK framework. According to MITRE, the main difficulty associated with detecting and mitigating Internal Spearphishing attacks is that “network intrusion detection systems do not usually scan internal email.” The main hallmarks of a spear phishing email—such as email impersonation or spoofing—are not present once an adversary has successfully compromised an internal email account. This means legacy email security software may be unable to detect Internal Spear Phishing attacks. However, an AI-driven email security solution such as Tessian can scan internal email and will pick up on small inconsistencies in the sender’s email behavior and communication patterns. If a sender is communicating outside of their normal internal networks or writing in an uncharacteristic style, Tessian can flag this unusual behavior and notify the recipient of any suspicious emails.  Learn more about how Tessian Defender defends against internal spear phishing. Technique T1598: Phishing for Information T1598: Phishing for Information is a MITRE ATT&CK Technique associated with the “Reconnaissance” Tactic (TA0043). While Phishing involves an attempt to penetrate an organization’s defenses, Phishing for Information is a way to gather information about the target for use in an attack. As such, Phishing for Information may occur via email—or via other communications channels, such as instant messaging applications or social media. Phishing for Information Detection and Mitigations To detect Phishing for Information, MITRE suggests monitoring for suspicious email activity. Email security software can monitor signs of a phishing attack, including DKIM misconfiguration, suspicious language, or erratic communication methods. But legacy email security programs can only detect the more obvious indicators of phishing. On the other hand, Tessian is uniquely equipped to identify the subtle but distinctive signs that a sender is not who they say they are.  Tessian Defender uses machine learning (ML), anomaly detection, behavioral analysis, and natural language processing (NLP) to detect a variety of suspicious signals:  Unusual sender characteristics: This includes anomalous geophysical locations, IP addresses, email clients, and reply-to addresses  Anomalous email sending patterns: Based on historical email analysis, Tessian can identity unusual recipients, unusual send times, and emails sent to an unusual number of recipients Malicious payloads: Tessian uses URL match patterns to spot suspicious URLs and ML to identify red flags indicative of suspicious attachments  Deep content inspection: Looking at the email content – for example, language that conveys suspicious intent – Tessian can detect zero-payload attacks, too Leveraging email security for MITRE ATT&CK framework compliance We’ve seen how email security is a major factor in meeting the MITRE ATT&CK framework requirements. To recap, Tessian can serve as a key Mitigation in respect of the following Techniques and Sub-Techniques: T1566: Phishing T1566.01: Spearphishing Attachment T1566.02: Spearphishing Link T1566.03: Spearphishing via Service T1534: Internal Spearphishing T1598: Phishing for Information Learn more about how Tessian can transform your organization’s cybersecurity program.
Human Layer Security Spear Phishing DLP Compliance
7 Ways CFOs Can (And Should) Support Cybersecurity
By Maddie Rosenthal
29 July 2021
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: cybersecurity is a team sport. That means that (like it or not) the responsibility and burden sits with everyone, including the Chief Finance Officer (CFO).  That’s right: quantifying cyber risk, navigating cyber insurance policies, and negotiating ransom with hacking groups can all be part of the job spec.  If you’re a CFO who’s struggling to understand their role in cybersecurity, keep reading. We share 7 opportunities to get involved and protect your company’s assets.  Note: Every company is different. Size, revenue, industry, and reporting structures all play a role. This is general advice meant to provide a bird’s eye view of a CFO’s potential involvement in cybersecurity. 1. Quantify risk It can be hard for the C-suite to see the value of a solution when they haven’t yet experienced any consequences without it. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  That’s why it’s so important CFOs step in to quantify risk using specific “what-if” scenarios. The most basic formula is: probability x expected cost. Let’s use the example of an email being sent to the wrong person. We know at least 800 misdirected emails are sent every year in organizations with 1,000 employees. The expected cost, of course, depends on the email content and recipient, but let’s look at the worst-case scenario. What would the cost be if your press release for an upcoming, highly confidential merger and acquisition landed in a disgruntled former employee’s inbox? How would this impact the M&A itself? The company’s reputation? Revenue? Not a risk worth taking. Learn more about the key security challenges organizations face during M&A events. 2. Benchmark spending against other organizations Just like a marketing team should use a benchmark to determine whether or not their email list is engaged, CFOs should use a benchmark to determine how much they should be spending on cybersecurity. Think of it as your North Star. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to determine how much your competitors or industry mavericks are shelling out. At least if they’re publicly traded.  A good place to start is their S-1. Here, you’ll be able to see what percentage of the company’s revenue goes towards Sales and Marketing, Research and Development, and General and Administrative.  This should give you a good idea of how to allocate your revenue.  You can also look at more general benchmark reports. For example, according to a Deloitte study, cybersecurity spending has increased YoY, from .34% of a company’s overall revenue in 2019 to .48% in 2020.  In 2020, that equated to $2,691 per full-time employee.   Bonus: Did you know you can also benchmark your security posture against your industry peers with Tessian Human Layer Security Intelligence? Learn more.  3. Vet cyber insurance policies Today, virtually every business needs cyber liability insurance. If you run a business that stores client, customer, or partner data…you need it. But it’s money wasted if you aren’t fully familiar with the policy terms. Check to make sure your first-party cyber insurance includes: Breach response recovery (including technical and legal advice) Forensic analysis for identifying the attack source Event management (including data recovery, PR services, and notification of clients) Cyber extortion Network/business interruption (including those that are the result of an attack on a third party) Dependent business interruption Credit monitoring services Consequential reputational loss or loss of income It’s also worth exploring third-party cyber insurance to protect your company’s assets from subsequent compliance penalties and settlement costs.  For example, Facebook settled a class-action lawsuit over its use of facial recognition technology. Illinois. The case reportedly settled for $550 million for a violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act.  Third-party cyber insurance should include: Network security failures and privacy events Regulatory defense and penalties (including coverage for GDPR liabilities) PCI-DSS liabilities and costs Media content liability  4. Communicate with the board In a sentence, the CFO is responsible for the financial security of an organization. And, in the event of a breach, financial security simply isn’t guaranteed. Don’t believe us? Check out the consequences of a breach, according to IT leaders: !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"); All of these will impact a company’s bottom line, including share value and rate of growth… two things the board doesn’t want to hear and news a CFO would hate to deliver.   But this isn’t a case of shooting the messenger. The responsibility and burden of cybersecurity sits with everyone, remember?  Post-breach, the board, auditors, and other third parties will be examining how effectively budgets were allocated to prevent the worst. That’s why it’s essential the CFO is actively involved in creating and implementing cybersecurity strategies; they have skin in the game.  5. Create secure processes for the finance team While – yes – the CFO holds the power of the purse and therefore influences the overall cybersecurity strategy, they also have a massive responsibility to secure their own team’s processes. After all, the finance department is one of the most targeted, specifically by invoice fraud, wire transfer fraud, and business email compromise.  Between June 2016 and July 2019, FBI statistics show that wire transfer fraud via BEC occurred 166,349 times, and cost businesses over $26 billion. In 2019, the number of bank transfer phishing scams occurring in the UK increased by 40%. In 2017, the FBI received 15,690 complaints about BEC (primarily involving wire transfer), resulting in over $675 million in losses. In 2019, this increased to 23,775 complaints and over $1.7 billion in losses. To protect against these incidents, CFOs should work with security teams to help train employees to spot scams, implement email security software to spot suspicious domains, and create fool-proof payment validation processes. For more tips, check out this article: Everything You Need to Know About Wire Transfer Phishing. 6. Negotiate ransom in the event of a ransomware attack  This is a position no CFO wants to be in. But, more and more, we’re seeing organizations being forced to comply with cyber criminals’ extortion demands. (7 Examples of Ransomware Attacks here.) While this may seem far beyond the scope of a finance director’s role, they’re heavily involved in the process. Of course, the first question to answer is: To pay? Or not to pay? This depends on an infinite number of factors, including the data being held, the hacking group who infiltrated the network, your cyber insurance policy, the company’s liquid assets….  The list goes on.  To avoid being put between a rock and a hard place, CFOs (along with the rest of the C-Suite and security team) should take prevention seriously, including anti-malware software, patching processes, and security for email, web, and other services. Tessian can help with email by preventing ransomware attacks at the source. 7. Know how to spot a phish CFO’s are generally among the most frequently targeted by phishing attacks. They’re also frequently impersonated. It makes sense. They have access to and control over the company’s money. It’s essential, then, that CFOs are especially vigilant, know how to spot a spear phishing attack, and know what to do if they suspect an email, text, or call is malicious.  Training, technology, and processes can help. If you want to learn more about how Nudge theory plays a role, check out this article about in-the-moment warnings. Looking for more resources? Check out the following: ⚡ Relationship 15: A Framework to Help Security Leaders Influence Change ⚡ CEO’s Guide to Data Protection and Compliance ⚡ Who Are the Most Likely Targets of Spear Phishing Attacks? ⚡ Why Information Security Must Be a Priority for GCs in 2021
Human Layer Security DLP Compliance
At a Glance: Data Loss Prevention in Healthcare
By Maddie Rosenthal
30 May 2021
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, Data Loss Prevention in Healthcare, 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 46% 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 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. Finally, Tessian Defender detects and prevents inbound attacks like spear phishing, account takeover (ATO), and CEO Fraud.
Compliance
Why Information Security Must Be a Priority For GCs in 2021
11 May 2021
The business world was incredibly interconnected before the pandemic. Now that COVID-19 forced five years of tech adoption in three months, and with new technologies on the horizon, this trend isn’t reversing any time soon.  And while this global upgrade has many uses, and enables you to move huge parts of your life online, it also brings an increased focus on information security. Necessarily so.  Information security (Infosec) plays a vital role for all businesses that handle customer, client, or employee data. Nowadays, that’s pretty much every business.  Security breaches can seriously damage a company’s reputation, if not end their success altogether. Conversely, good cybersecurity can be a competitive advantage. Infosec also: Enables teams to build and implement their applications safely Allows the business to build trust with their customers Enables the organization to protect the data they collect and use Protects the tech used by teams within the company What does Infosec have to do with GCs? As the CEO and Co-Founder of Juro, I know how in-house legal teams work, particularly the General Counsel. The top lawyer in a company is increasingly focused on ‘adding value to the business’ as lawyers seek to bring their commercial savvy to bear to help with strategic projects.  But the first duty of a GC is to protect the company from legal risk – and in an interconnected world, the risks associated with breaches of information security loom large, both in terms of commercial and reputational impact.  It’s imperative that General Counsel work with Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) to protect the business from an ever-growing array of risks.
The lawyer – CISO dynamic Lawyers don’t always play well with others. Historically, lawyers and CISO have kept their distance. The IT department of a traditional business was one of the last places you’d expect to find the General Counsel.  But over the years, the need for a CISO has grown, and the dynamic between the two roles has changed, for several reasons: 1. A huge explosion in SaaS businesses Even pre-COVID, the increase in automating processes – which moved traditional industries like finance, healthcare and legal into the cloud -drove an upsurge in adoption of SaaS tools.  Sales moved into Salesforce, marketing into HubSpot, and even legal teams moved online by embracing matter management and contract negotiation tools, alongside stalwarts like Zoom and Slack which seem to be ubiquitous to every business. Since the advent of COVID and universal lockdowns, it can often seem like collaborative SaaS platforms have become the rule, rather than the exception, such is their rate of adoption. But all these exciting changes present their own unique challenges when it comes to information security.  With so many verticals becoming digital-first overnight, their exposure to malicious (and negligent) actors both in and outside of the organization has led to a corresponding increase in legal risk.  Tessian research shows that 48% of employees say they’re less likely to follow safe security practices when working from home, and 84% of security leaders data loss prevention (DLP) is more challenging when their workforce is working outside of the office. It’s vital that GCs and CISOs help the business navigate the new world safely – together. 2. The ever-changing privacy landscape Most of these applications and SaaS tools require personal information of some kind, making privacy a key concern from day one. The complexity around this challenge only grows as the business does, which is why it’s essential that lawyers work with CISOs to manage that data security risk. Layered on top of this is the regulatory environment for personal data.  GDPR was a slow-moving iceberg that many businesses still haven’t fully reckoned with; the future is set to become even more complex thanks to developments like the Schrems II decision. GCs and CISOs can and should collaborate to create a privacy framework that allows them to keep on top of these challenges, iterating as the business continues to scale. Creating a robust privacy policy shouldn’t be viewed as a concern just for legal – GCs must encourage buy-in and participation from the wider business. 
What can GCs do to protect their company’s information security? Taking a leading role in information security doesn’t need to be daunting for legal counsel – in fact, a few simple steps can make all the difference. 1. Support CISOs GCs can ensure that they’re giving information security the attention it deserves by supporting and advising on any issues that arise. Often at a smaller business, there’s a single person assigned to manage Infosec – and much like the first lawyer at a scaling business, they have a mountain of work to do. Even in larger enterprises organizations, security teams can be thinly-stretched and resource-constrained.  Supporting CISOs through proactively dedicating a set amount of time and having regular check-ins can ensure that both lawyers and CISOs aren’t buried under this work in the future, as the business continues to grow.  Tone at the top dictates how others respond – it’s important for leaders to set the right example. Looking for a framework to help you establish better relationships with the right people? Use this template. 2. Offer training It’s important to emphasize that Infosec is a shared responsibility across the whole business – while one person may have ownership of it, it’s every employee’s responsibility to ensure the information processed by the business is secure, and data isn’t vulnerable to common attacks like data exfiltration and spear phishing..  GCs can help CISOs with this task by setting up training sessions with other teams in the company, to keep everyone up to date with the latest techniques.  For better or worse, lawyers are often seen as ‘bad cops’ in the business – having their backing for, and involvement in, data compliance training should reinforce the seriousness with which colleagues should approach the issue. Training shouldn’t be a one-off, of course – it should be part of every employee’s onboarding, and revisited on a regular basis. The bottom line: as the threats in Infosec constantly adapt, so should the methods used to mitigate risk and keep data safe. GCs and CISOs should work together to review the policies, frameworks and training in place, and iterate where necessary.  Falling behind on this will expose the business to risk. By prioritizing these tasks and placing security at the heart of everything they do, lawyers can ensure that their businesses continue to handle data securely as they scale. Written by Richard Mabey, CEO and co-founder of Juro.
Human Layer Security DLP Compliance Data Exfiltration
The State of Data Loss Prevention in the Financial Services Sector
By Maddie Rosenthal
10 May 2021
In our latest research report, we took a deep dive into Data Loss Prevention in Financial Services 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. Finally, Tessian Defender detects and prevents inbound attacks like spear phishing, account takeover (ATO), and CEO Fraud. 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 have adopted Tessian’s technology, including: Man Group Evercore BDO Affirm Armstrong Watson JTC DC Advisory Many More
Compliance
Cybersecurity: What Does Biden’s Executive Order Mean For Your Business?
05 May 2021
Remember last year’s SolarWinds attack? It was one of the most significant hacks in history and the fallout is ongoing. We may never know exactly how bad the attack was. But, we do know that it’s making waves and was a wake-up call for many organizations—not least the U.S. government, which has realized just how vulnerable it is to hackers targeting the countless companies in its supply chain. In response to SolarWinds, President Biden’s administration is drafting an executive order that aims to strengthen cybersecurity among both federal and private organizations. We’ve combed through the available information about the upcoming executive order to help you understand the potential implications for your business. 🕵  What information do we have about the executive order? We’ve had little communication from the White House about Biden’s upcoming executive order.  That means most of the information available derives from the following sources: The announcement that an executive order was in development, made in February by Anne Neuberger, White House deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology A March speech made to the RSA Conference by Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of homeland security  A leaked draft of the executive order seen by journalists in March An April speech to the Cybersecurity Coalition, given by Jeff Greene, acting senior director for cybersecurity at the National Security Council Further comments from Neuberger to NPR, made April 29 The order will likely tighten the rules around the procurement of private-sector software and services by government agencies—or, as Neuberger puts it: “If you’re doing business with the federal government, here’s a set of things you need to comply with in order to do business with us…” The means companies hoping to obtain or maintain government contracts, software developers, and government agencies will need to demonstrate that they have implemented certain security measures.  Don’t fall under any of the above three categories? Still worth paying attention. This executive order is a clear sign that the U.S. is taking cybersecurity seriously.  Now is the time to review your organization’s approach to cybersecurity—to ensure you have identified any vulnerabilities and can prevent or respond to attacks. 1. Breach notification  The order will likely include a breach notification rule that will impact companies supplying the federal government with software or hardware products. Of course, companies doing business with the federal government aren’t the only organizations to be obligated to breach notification rules.  Data breach notification rules are common worldwide, particularly in Europe, where the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) obliges organizations to notify regulators and individuals in the event of a breach of personal data within 72 hours. Further reading:  ⚡ GDPR: 13 Most Asked Questions + Answers ⚡ Biggest GDPR Fines in 2020 and 2021 There is currently no generally applicable federal breach notification law in the U.S. But, many states and some sectors have breach notification laws. We look at several of these in our article US Data Privacy Laws 2020: What Security Leaders Need to Know. The order’s breach notification rule would reportedly oblige federal contractors to notify a cyber incident response board (yet to be established) within days of a suspected hack or data breach. Organizations might also be required to cooperate with the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) to investigate the incident. Reuters suggested that the order might also contain a public disclosure rule. Public disclosure might involve notifying any members of the public affected by a data breach, either individually or via the media. Note: Any organization operating under a data breach notification requirement must have robust and efficient procedures in place to identify and respond to a cybersecurity incident.  The sooner you can detect malicious activity, the sooner you can report it—and the sooner it can be contained or mitigated. 2. Software development security  The order will likely set out improved security requirements for software procured by federal agencies. This means developers of such software will need to implement stronger security standards in their products. Software vendors supplying the federal government may be required to create a “Software Bill of Materials” (SBOM) accompanying their products. An SBOM acts as an inventory that provides details about the components of a piece of software. Jeff Greene also reportedly suggested that National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) controls would play a role in providing improved security standards for government contractors. It’s not clear whether software vendors would be required to comply with an existing NIST framework, or whether the government would work with NIST to derive new standards. However, whether or not an organization supplies software to the federal government, compliance with a scheme such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework is strongly recommended.  See our Beginner’s Guide to Cybersecurity Frameworks for more information. 3. Improved security within federal agencies  Finally, Biden’s executive order will likely include some mandatory security standards for government agencies and employees, including encryption of data and the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA). These technical controls are basic, and they are already best practice for any organization handling personal or sensitive data. But mandating such controls by law is a significant step. As we learn more, we’ll update this article. Want to be the first to know? Sign-up for our weekly blog digest, including global cybersecurity news, original research, and tips from security leaders.
Compliance Tessian Culture Engineering Team
Securing SOC 2 Certification
By Trevor Luker
30 March 2021
Building on our existing ISO 27001 security certification, Tessian is excited to announce that we have achieved Service Organization Control 2 Type 2 (SOC 2) compliance in the key domains of Security, Confidentiality and Availability with zero exceptions on our very first attempt. Achieving full SOC 2 Type 2 compliance within 6 months is simply sensational and is a huge achievement for our company. It reinforces our message to customers and prospects that Information Security and protecting customer data is at the very core of everything Tessian does.
The Journey We began the preparations for SOC 2 in September 2020 and initiated the formal process in October. Having previously experienced the pain and trauma of doing SOC 2 manually, we knew that to move quickly, we needed tooling to assist with the evidence gathering and reporting.  Fortunately we were introduced to VANTA, which automates the majority of the information gathering tasks, allowing the Tessian team to concentrate on identifying and closing any gaps we had. VANTA is a great platform, and we would recommend it to any other company undertaking SOC 2 or ISO 27001 certification. For the external audit part of the process, we were especially fortunate to team up with Barr Advisory who proactively helped us navigate the maze of the Trust Service Criteria requirements. They provided skilled, objective advice and guidance along the way, and we would particularly like to thank Cody Hewell and Kyle Helles for their insights, enthusiasm and support. Tessian chose an accelerated three month observation period, which in turn, put a lot of pressure on internal resources to respond to information requests and deliver process changes as required. The Tessian team knew how important SOC 2 was to us strategically and rallied to the challenge. Despite some extremely short timeframes, we were able to deliver the evidence that the auditors needed.  A huge team effort and a great reflection of Tessian’s Craft At Speed value. What Next? Achieving SOC 2 Type 2 is a crucial step for Tessian as we expand further into the large enterprise space. It’s also the basis on which we will further develop our compliance and risk management initiatives, leading to specialized government security accreditation in the US and Europe over the next year or two.
Compliance
7 Things We Learned at Tessian Human Layer Security Summit
By Maddie Rosenthal
02 March 2021
That’s a wrap! Thanks to our incredible line-up of speakers and panelists, the first Human Layer Security Summit of 2021 was jam-packed with insights and advice that will help you level-up your security strategy, connect with your employees, and thrive in your role. Looking for a recap? We’ve rounded up the top seven things we learned. 1. CISOs can’t succeed without building cross-functional relationships  Today, security leaders are responsible for communicating risk, enabling individuals and teams, and influencing change at all levels of the organization. That’s easier said than done, though…especially when research shows less than 50% of employees (including executives) can identify their CISO.  The key is building relationships with the right people. But how? Patricia Patton, Human Capital Strategist and Executive Coach, Annick O’Brien, Data Protection Officer and Cyber Risk Officer, and Gaynor Rich, Global Director Cybersecurity Strategy & Transformation at Unilever tackled this topic head-on and introduced a new framework for security leaders to use: Relationship 15.
Find out more by watching the full session below or check out this blog to download a template for the Relationship 15 Framework. Further reading: Relationship 15: A Framework to Help Security Leaders Influence Change CEO’s Guide to Data Protection and Compliance  16 Tips From Security Leaders: How to Get Buy-In For Cybersecurity How to Communicate Cybersecurity ROI to Your CEO 2. Securing your own organization isn’t enough. You have to consider your supply chain’s attack surface and risk profile, too We often talk about how cybersecurity is a team sport. And it is. But, today your “team” needs to extend beyond your own network.  Why? Because more and more often, bad actors are gaining access to the email accounts of trusted senders (suppliers, customers, and other third-parties) to breach a target company in account takeover (ATO) attacks. The problem is, you’re only as strong as the weakest (cybersecurity) link in your supply chain, and these sophisticated attacks slip right past Secure Email Gateways (SEGs), legacy tools, and rule-based solutions. Marie Measures, CTO, at Sanne Group, and Joe Hancock, Head of Cyber at Mishcon de Reya explain how firms in both the legal sector and financial services are preventing these threats by consulting enterprise risk management frameworks, partnering with customers, and leveraging technology. Further reading: What is Account Takeover? How to Defend Against Account Takeover 3. If you want to understand and reduce risk, you need data (and smart tech) Throughout the Human Layer Security Summit, one word was repeated over, and over, and over again. Visibility. It makes sense. Clear visibility of threats is the first step in effectively reducing risk. But, because so many security solutions are black boxes that make investigation, remediation, and reporting admin-intensive, this can be a real challenge. We have a solution, though. Tessian Human Layer Risk Hub. This game-changing product (coming soon!) enables security and risk management leaders to deeply understand their organization’s security posture by providing granular visibility and reporting into individual user risk levels. How? Each user is assigned a risk score based on dozens of factors and risk drivers, including email behavior, training track record, and access to sensitive information. This clearly shows administrators who needs help (on an individual level and a team level).  The tool also intelligently recommends actions to take within and outside the Tessian portal to mitigate risk. Finally, with industry benchmarking and dashboards that show how risk changes over time, you’ll be able to easily track and report progress. Want to learn more about Tessian Human Layer Risk Hub? Sign-up for our newsletter to get an alert on launch day or book a demo. Further reading: Ultimate Guide to Human Layer Security Worst Email Mistakes at Work (And How to Fix Them) 4. Rule-based solutions aren’t enough to prevent data exfiltration 
If you’re interested in learning more about Human Layer Security, this is the session for you. David Aird, IT Director at DAC Beachcroft, and Elsa Ferreira, CISO at Evercore take a deep dive into why people make mistakes, what the consequences of those mistakes are, and how they – as security leaders – can support their employees while protecting the organization. Spoiler alert: blunt rules, blocking by default, and one-and-done training sessions aren’t enough. To learn how they’re using Tessian to automatically prevent data exfiltration and reinforce training/policies – and to hear what prompted Elsa to say “They say security is a thankless job. But Tessian was the first security platform that we deployed across the organization where I personally received ‘thank you’s’ from employees…”– watch the full session. Further reading:  Research Report: Why DLP Has Failed and What the Future Looks Like 12 Examples of Data Exfiltration 5. When it comes to security awareness training, one size doesn’t fit all  Security awareness training is an essential part of every cybersecurity strategy. But, when it comes to phishing prevention, are traditional simulation techniques effective? According to Joe Mancini, VP Enterprise Risk at BankProv, and Ian Schneller, CISO, at RealPage they’re important… but not good enough on their own. Their advice: Find ways to make training more engaging and tailored to your business initiatives and employees’ individual risk levels  Focus on education and awareness versus “catching” people Make sure training is continuously reinforced (Tessian in-the-moment warnings can help with that) Don’t just consider who clicks; pay attention to who reports the phish, too Consider what happens if an employee fails a phishing test once, twice, or three times Want more tips? Watch the full session. Further reading: Why The Threat of Phishing Can’t be Trained Away Why Security Awareness Training is Dead Phishing Statistics (Updated 2021) 6. The future will be powered by AI Nina Schick, Deepfakes expert, Dan Raywood, Former deputy-editor at Infosec Magazine, and Samy Kamkar, Privacy and Security Researcher and Hacker went back and forth, discussing the biggest moments in security over the last year, what’s top of mind today, and what we should prepare for in the next 5-10 years. Insider threats, state-sponsored threats, and human error made everyone’s lists…and so did AI.
Watch the full session to hear more expert insights. Further reading: 2021 Cybersecurity Predictions  21 Cybersecurity Events to Attend in 2021 7. Hackers can – and do – use social media and OOO messages to help them craft targeted social engineering attacks against organizations  Spear phishing, Business Email Compromise (BEC), and other forms of social engineering attacks are top of mind for security leaders. And, while most organizations have a defense strategy in place – including training, policies, and technology – there’s one vulnerability most of us aren’t accounting for. Our digital footprints. Every photo we post, status we update, person we tag, and place we check-in to reveals valuable information about our personal and professional lives. With this information, hackers are able to craft more targeted, more believable, and – most importantly – more effective social engineering attacks. So, what can you do to level-up your defenses? Jenny Radcliffe, Host of The Human Factor, and James McQuiggan, CISSP Security Awareness Advocate, KnowBe4, share personal anecdotes and actionable advice in the first session of the Human Layer Security Summit.  Watch it now. Further reading: New Research: How to Hack a Human  6 Real-World Social Engineering Examples Want to join us next time? Subscribe to our blog below to be the first to hear about events, product updates, and new research. 
Human Layer Security Compliance
10 Reasons Why CEOs Should Care About Cybersecurity
By Tim Sadler
25 November 2020
Cybersecurity is a team sport. And for strategies to be truly effective, security leaders and business leaders have to work together.  In fewer words: Cybersecurity should be on the CEO’s agenda. So, to help bridge the gap and to really highlight why privacy and data protection matter now, I put together this list of reasons why CEOs should care about cybersecurity. Here are 10 reasons why CEOs should care about cybersecurity.
1. Cybersecurity is a competitive differentiator Today, customers and clients don’t just care about privacy, they expect it. That means that a strong cybersecurity culture can actually enable businesses. At our first Human Layer Security Summit of 2020, Mark Parr, Global Director at HFW, summed it up nicely, saying “You’re only going to win more work if you’re reputable. And you’re only going to be reputable if you demonstrate you have a strong information security framework.” He’s not alone in thinking this. According to Cisco’s global survey of security professionals and business leaders, 41% of survey respondents said “competitive advantage” was a benefit of their privacy investment.  2. The biggest consequence of a data breach is lost customer trust Earlier this year, we asked security leaders what the biggest consequence of a data breach would be. The #1 answer? Not lost data. Not regulatory fines or revenue loss. Lost customer trust. Breaches damage your brand and it can be very hard to win back customers’, clients’, and even the public’s trust. That’s why organizations see (on average) 3.9% customer churn after a data breach.  3. You will inevitably empower your people to do their best work Prioritizing cybersecurity isn’t just good for the business. It’s great for your people.  Here’s why: 90% of breaches are caused by human error. But people aren’t intentionally making these errors, they’re moving fast to get their job done. Security just isn’t top of mind for them.  So, it’s our job to set them up for success and empower them to do their best work securely. How do you do that? By removing the sharp objects.  At Tessian’s second Human Layer Security Summit, Bobby Ford, Vice President and Global CISO at Unilever put this into perspective with an example from his own life.   When you’re a parent helping your son or daughter learn how to walk, what do you do? Child-proof the house and get outta the way! 4. Privacy investment can help reduce delays in sales processes and improve operational efficiency Remember that Cisco global survey I mentioned earlier? “Competitive advantage” wasn’t the only benefit security professionals and business leaders experienced as a result of their investment in privacy and cybersecurity. 41% achieved operational efficiency from having data organized and cataloged and 37% saw a reduction in sales delays due to privacy concerns from customers and prospects. It makes sense. Data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity force businesses to be more transparent. That transparency fosters customer loyalty and increases organizational alignment.  
5. The average data breach costs $3.86 million While most security leaders agree that the biggest consequence of a breach is lost customer trust and damaged reputation, we can’t ignore the financial implications. In IBM’s latest Cost of a Data Breach report, they found the average data breach costs $3.86 million. This figure includes costs associated with: Detection and Escalation Notification  Lost Business Ex-post response. And this doesn’t even account for the potential fines from regulators.  Why does this matter? If we’re talking about the ROI of cybersecurity, the cost of non-compliance is actually 2.71 times higher than the cost of compliance. Translation: Prevention is better than cure.  6. The investigation and remediation of breaches disrupts productivity On average, it takes companies 197 days to identify and 69 days to contain a breach. And this process of investigating and remediating requires time and resources from plenty of departments, teams, and people outside of IT. Legal, compliance, executive, marketing, HR, and people teams will get pulled in. Spokespeople will be appointed. External security/IT support will have to be hired and onboarded. The bottom line: you hired great people to do great things. Post-breach activities pull them away from their day-to-work, disrupt their flow and productivity, and distract them from the business’ larger mission. 7. Data protection laws are only going to get more strict  On the topic of compliance, it’s important to point out that data protection laws are only going to get more strict and enforcement agencies are only going to be given more resources to enforce data requirements. That means organizations around the world and across industries won’t just benefit from strong cybersecurity programs, but they’ll be obligated to have one.  Top tip: Industries like financial services tend to be 5+ years ahead in cybersecurity maturity. If you don’t operate in these industries, it’s worth taking note of what’s top-of-mind for the business and security leaders that do.  8. Security culture is built from the top down Just like company culture, the C-suite sets the tone for security culture and therefore must lead by example.  It’s especially important that the CEO plays an active role in not just creating the overall security strategy, but actually rolling it out. Why? The CEO can connect cybersecurity to business objectives and help employees understand what it’s such a critical component in enabling the company to achieve its mission.
But business leaders will soon have no choice but to actively contribute to their organization’s security culture…. 9. By 2024, CEOs could be held personally liable for data breaches As I’ve said, cybersecurity is mission critical. But, for now, it’s security and IT teams who shoulder the responsibility. In a few years, this could change.  According to Gartner, CEO’s will be held personally liable for data breaches by 2024. 10. You owe it to your customers We mentioned earlier that strong cybersecurity can help businesses win new customers. But it’s not just about winning new customers. It’s also about supporting the ones you have.  This is one of Tessian’s core values: Customer-Centricity. Your customers entrust you with their data, their intellectual property, their secrets. You have to keep it safe. That’s why we believe that – as a cybersecurity vendor – it’s our mission to protect every other business’ mission. If you’re looking for more insights into how security and business leaders can work together, check out our latest eBook: CEO’s Guide to Data Protection and Compliance. 
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