Category Archives: Cyber-security

Cyber security is a very special area that experts describe as "dreadful". It concerns computers, smartphones, connected devices… all this little world sensitive to Internet security.

When data leaks affect children

Usually when we talk about data leakage, we most often forget to talk about some of the people who are the most vulnerable.

These are, of course, children. When your data is freely circulating on the Internet or sold on a forum two cyber criminals, it is certain that children in addition to adults are in this situation. Especially when it comes to health data, for example.

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Let's talk about health data. While this personal information has not been sufficiently central to concerns about the computer security of digital data for a long time, the recent explosion of computer attacks, particularly the one targeting health care institutions since last year, has literally changed the game. Since the beginning of this year, there has been a lot of leakage of this kind of data. But what exactly is called health data? According to the National Commission for Information Technology and Freedoms, an independent administrative authority responsible for ensuring compliance with the European data protection regulation, health data is "considered sensitive data and which, when held by health institutions and professionals, is protected by medical secrecy." This information is crucial and sensitive and is generally covered by professional secrecy. In this regard, the Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information specifies that this data is covered by secrecy even if this person is under guardianship in the curatorship "the medical information of the protected person is not accessible to third parties" notes the administrative authority. "No need for special skills: this data is accessible to anyone, simply by entering the names and surnames of residents in a search engine.».

However, despite all this sensitivity around health data, it is unfortunately not uncommon to find it freely available on the internet.

Recently, The Accous Home has been leaked with such information. Health data held by residents of homes for adults with disabilities was available on the Internet for several months. The database continues and several personal information, be it the name or the health problem they suffered from. The whole problem is database was easily accessible from Google because indexed without any password to protect them. If for a while it's access has been removed by the home, the fact remains that until very recently, there was some information still available in cache. "They closed the access but because the search engines went through the page, the information is still available because the engine has retrieved the entire page. They should ask Google to delete the pages. You have to deindex," says Corinne Hénin, a computer security expert.

The reason for this data leak is explained by the heads of the association in charge of the home, Adapei64: "A gradual implementation of the tools of the Adapei of the Pyrenees-Atlantiques, and in particular the associative software for managing individual projects, NEO PI V2, was then planned. In anticipation of this implementation, the institution has developed its own tool to improve the sharing of information and thus the quality of support by professionals," describes the data protection delegate."We discovered accessible data problems in 2020, but with the pandemic, our actions were delayed in correcting them," adds the director of Adapei64. These leaks have all the more annoyed the team because it had set up information campaigns on the confidentiality of patient data with the directors of institutions, administrators, people accompanied …In the light of our investigation, the team was able to observe that "the concept of 'hide', had not been taken into account by the institution", had acknowledged the Director of Data Protection

The National Commission on Computer Science and Freedoms states that "in the case of persons with disabilities or minors, there are no "aggravating circumstances" for data hosts. Because "In France, it is considered that a minor can give his own consent to the processing of his data from the age of 15. Underneath, the joint consent of the child and the holder of parental authority is required."

In a dynamic of always strengthening security around children, the national education declared to this effect: "the development of a culture of data protection of a personal nature in its legal, technical and ethical dimensions within the school institution is paramount and is a priority", with this in mind, "11,000 treatment managers spread over the territory that it is necessary to raise awareness in order to protect the data of more than 12 million students and apprentices. It seems that the cases cited have therefore passed through the "acquisition and basic concepts" of cybersecurity, long promoted by "training sessions for future headteachers, webinars for teachers" and "awareness-raising activities in schools".

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Hospitals lack resources in dealing with cybercrime

Cyberattacks have a favourable eye on hospitals.

Over the past while, we have seen an increase in computer attacks targeting health facilities. With the health crisis things unfortunately get worse. The interest of hackers in the hospital sector is due to a glaring lack of resources. Whether it is in terms of skills, labour or financial means, in one way or another, the cyber security of hospitals is being set in motion.

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Faced with this situation, the government decided to take this matter to heart, especially by investing as much as possible in strengthening the security of the information systems of health institutions.

In one of these recent speeches, French President Emmanuel Macron detailed "the dramatic consequences that these attacks can have on medical facilities whose sensitivity is clear, and moreover in a pandemic context." He then announced the restoration of the Permanent Observatory for Better Control of cybersecurity of these establishments.

This approach is necessary and timely. Indeed, the computer security of hospitals is not homogeneous. Establishment on putting in its way content with its means and priorities. That is why the Minister responsible for health and the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs highlighted the deployment of the "National Health Cyber Surveillance Service" by the National Information Systems Security Agency in collaboration with the Digital Health Agency.

It is a service that is in a phase of "progressive ramp-up" of the Digital Health Agency of the ANS. It will be responsible for mapping the attack surfaces of computer systems, allowing here to determine potential security vulnerabilities and possible data leaks. This "Cyber Health Watch" organization will be built to make them more effective so that it can be used to help against computer attacks.

In continuity, 135 hospital groups will join the category of essential service operators. This will bring some obligation in the way of organizing and controlling computer systems as well as the implementation of certain means to enable good digital hygiene practices. Everything will be done to ensure that cyber security awareness is "integrated into all health actor training courses in order to strengthen digital hygiene practices, in a context of strengthening the convergence and interoperability of information systems" as stated by the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, Mr. Cédric O.

"Digital services are vital to the functioning of hospitals, like communities, which are in the eyes of the attackers most able to pay the ransom demanded. Thus, these institutions are not attacked on the grounds that criminals would like to target the health system per se, but because they want to do ROI," explains Romain Lecuvre, a patriarch and co-founder of the French company specializing in bug bounty hunting, YesWeHack.

According to Jacques de La Rivière, the boss of the French Company Gatewatcher: "The attackers did not understand that there is not as much cash in French hospitals as in American clinics, and that they are not allowed to pay the ransom. Nevertheless, the hospital sector remains very attractive for cyber criminals, mainly because of its lack of security due to lack of resources. ».

As mentioned above, one of the main reasons for this lack is the blatant lack. "We now have the cyber recovery plan where public-private cooperation is announced to address these security issues," noted Romain Lecuvre. For his part, Karl Rigal points out: "From the vulnerability reviews to the implementation of slopes, by moving to the configuration of security, forensic and governance policies, the private sector can accompany these structures which are often neither equipped nor sensitized internally to these issues. ».

"At some point, you'll have to go over the size of the teams. It is already surprising that hospital IT teams are able to do what they do with so few resources." Christophe Corne, For the head of Systancia.

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"Computer security incident"

The French subsidiary of German hardware giant B2B, wurth France, is facing a difficult cybersecurity situation.

Indeed, the company has been the victim of a problem related to its security. This forces him to return to the use of paper and pen. If this has not been specifically mentioned, there is a good chance that the company was the victim of a computer attack. The statement that was addressed to the parent company of the French company, the head of the subsidiary simply refuses to mention "the computer security incident".

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According to reports, another subsidiary, the company, W-rth Modyf France, which specialises in professional event money, was also affected by this type of incident. But for their part, the company's spokespersons say that the stores are "able to serve customers and process customer orders again."

However, when you log on to the customer service platform of Wurth France, you can read this message clearly: "We are currently experiencing a major technical problem. All of our IT staff are mobilized to address them as quickly as possible." And when you are tempted to join the same service, you can hear a recorded voice saying, "This incident is causing a great disruption to our systems and processes, especially in our online store and customer services." Yet on the company's homepage, another message appears: "in order to [sa]improve performance" and "set up new features." In the face of this situation, interpretations are abound.

However, by electronic correspondence, the French company tells its various partners and customers that "since Sunday a general outage of its network", caused by a "computer security incident". The effect then goes back on April 4.The company's IT services are generally available from the Internet no longer respond until today. In correspondence to the client partner, the first manager of the group's French subsidiary states that a "team of experts is actively working to resolve the problem. A quick and targeted response by our teams has allowed us to restart the activity of our logistics in order to be able to deliver our customers as soon as possible."

Even if this has not been openly explained. Practically stead, it would seem that we are dealing with a particular computer attack, a ransomware attack. Indeed, the remediation time is quite long. Just like in the case. One can imagine that the damage was heavy enough to explain the long availability of the company's IT services.

All the usual services that go through computing have become analog. Employees are obliged to return to paper and pen. It is still impossible to order a product online through the company's website.

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Computer security and telecommuting: when employees become managers

Telework is now a fairly common and usual thing.

A few years ago, you could count the professionals who collaborated in this way. However, with the health crisis and all the inconveniences that this may have brought, the adoption of telework had become a no-brainer, if not a necessity. Yet telework itself is not something simple enough from a technical point of view. Indeed, remote work means massive use of digital solutions. Yet the use of large-scale computer and internet equipment opens a door to cybercrime. Today, the vectors of computer attack have multiplied at the same time as teleworkers have increased.

"For many companies, the massive use of telework imposed from the first containment was only a scaling. explains Benoît Grunemwald, security expert at ESET. , "to evoke the switch to telecommuting and computer security issues requires observing the best practices, put in place by some companies long before the crisis. Many of them worked with telework employees or remote providers. The health crisis has only been a generalization of this operation, to be applied more or less significantly to the vast majority of employees. he adds. He also asked: "How did we treat these populations remotely before the crisis?What equipment, awareness, infrastructure were deployed to ensure that the data that workers access to is secure? That is what we need to look at in order to expand these practices. ».

To migrate to telecommuting, there was of course a question of using cloud technology in one way or another with several tools dedicated to remote collaboration. This may be to share information during teamwork or to simply communicate. Under such conditions, one of the first requirements in this area on securing passwords as noted expertly. As a result, employees should be encouraged not only to use strong passwords, but also to use multiple passwords for their various accounts. In addition to using fairly secure passwords, a dual-factor authentication system should also be in place. "This is a six-digit code received on the employee's phone, providing a second protection in case the passwords have been stolen. This code changes every 30 seconds, and thus ensures that the person who logs in is who they claim to be. This practice, very simple and inexpensive to implement, is systematically recommended by ESET, whether internally or externally, for customers. We offer our solution, ESET Secure Authentication. In terms of cost, financial and human, it's very affordable and easy to deploy. It is a solution that intersects with existing applications. Because while large email providers offer this strong authentication, small applications do not. That is why we are proposing this solution. says Benoît Grunemwald.

In addition, our ESET Expert talks about risk analysis. This analysis has its source in the fact that telework has imposed itself on a part of the population that at the base did not have this habit. As a result, they had to deal with it even though it was difficult.

Benoît Grunemwald proposes to base risk analysis on three key points: "

– The availability of data, i.e. it is available and accessible only to staff who need it;

– The integrity of the data, i.e. it remains accurate and not falsified;

– Confidentiality, both internally and externally, where no one should have access to certain data.

The keys to trust. »

Benoît Grunemwald adds: "The beauty of IT agility is that it ensures security on any workstation, both inside and outside the company. Even by using a regular station, you can continue to work without endangering the safety of the company."

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Why you don't have to entangle your company's IT system

The major challenge for companies today is to ensure that they can escape, if not to the fullness but to the maximum of the computer threats that await them.

Indeed, computer incidents due to computer attacks are multiplying. It is almost impossible to do a week without any reports of a computer attack here or there. This is the sad reality of today's digital world. That's why it's important to learn and train on methods to make more about your computer system on a daily basis.

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"A lot has of course changed in two decades. A key aspect is the widespread use of cloud computing, more commonly known as the "cloud," for both storage and data access. This has had a huge impact on how cybersecurity issues need to be addressed. In the early 2000s, the idea was to create a kind of wall around the company. In 2021, the approach is very different: data can be accessed from the company as well as at the employee's home or on the go. The data is therefore partly stored on the company's servers, partly on the cloud or sometimes on the employees' personal computers. explains Fabien Jacquier, co-founder of Kyos, a company specializing in attic form and advisory. "As a corollary, this flexibility also drastically increases the "attack surface" that can potentially be exploited by hackers. We must be all the more vigilant given that they are now acting in a much more sophisticated way than in the past: hackers are no longer isolated people behind their computers but they are increasingly networking; they are real organizations. Grégory Roux, one of Kyos' associates, added.

Faced with the proliferation of computer attacks, the political and legal demands of states, and the increase in data leaks, one wonders whether it is possible today for a company to protect itself from intrusions. But according to the co-founder of Kyos, the approach is poorly understood. "Rather than trying to protect the entire IT environment of the company, one of the solutions is to secure the data itself. To use an image: we used to try to place some kind of fence all around the company. Now we know that the fence is open – we'll focus on controlling its access depending on where it is located, via encryption and authorisation solutions. ».

So what about the proliferation of means of communication. Today messaging services are legion. With the adoption of telework as a standard model of professional collaboration due to the coronavirus pandemic, solutions have rapidly developed to become literally established. What about the security part of all this? To this question, Grégory Roux replies: "We come back to the question of what we are going to secure. Should the channels through which this data is distributed and accessed be secured, or should the data themselves be secured? Today, the trend is more in the direction of securing the data itself. ».

So what are the areas that we can call sensitive in this computer world?

"Law firms have always placed a lot of importance on this aspect, but so have administrations, international organizations and, of course, companies active in finance or industry. Historically, it was the banks that had the largest security budgets — in the meantime, they were caught up with others. Within the banking sector, private banks also devote more resources to it than retail banks. Fabien Jacquier explains.

Despite all that could be presented as disadvantages in the digital sector, the fact remains that we are witnessing the rise of fintech especially smartphone banks. Are these economic models viable in the face of these growing threats?

"I would say that all financial companies have taken the lead in cybersecurity – both the most advanced new players in digital technology and the more traditional banking institutions, such as PostFinance. PostFinance now offers both mobile banking services and certified payment systems such as Twint. Although some traditional establishments are currently a little "challenged" by fintech companies, the essential points to be protected remain the same: it is above all to ensure the security of financial transactions. Unlike other sectors, the challenge is not only to protect the data in general but also to ensure that the financial transaction is carried out properly. Various risks should be avoided: a transaction can be diverted to a third party, the amount may be changed. For all these reasons, transaction data must be protected using encryption techniques. Fabien Jacquier points out.

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