Sep 22 2022

Second Course Exam for Free – ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001 & EU GDPR

Category: Information Security,ISO 27kDISC @ 8:30 am

I just wanted to inform you that, at the end of September, Advisera launched ‚ÄúSecond Course Exam for Free‚ÄĚ promotional campaign. The campaign will start on September 22, and end on September 29, 2022.

Take the ISO 9001 course exam and get the ISO 14001, ISO 13485, or 45001 course exam for free

In this promotion the second course exam is completely FREE OF CHARGE.

The bundles are displayed on two landing pages, one with bundles related to ISO 9001 and another with bundles related to ISO 27001.

Take the ISO 27001 course exam and get the EU GDPR course exam for free

Foundations course exam bundles:

ISO 9001 Foundations exam + ISO 14001 Foundation exam

ISO 9001 Foundations exam + ISO 27001 Foundation exam

ISO 9001 Foundations exam + ISO 13485 Foundation exam

ISO 9001 Foundations exam + ISO 45001 Foundation exam

ISO 14001 Foundations exam + ISO 45001 Foundation exam

Internal Auditor course exam bundles:

ISO 9001 Internal Auditor exam + ISO 14001 Internal Auditor exam

ISO 9001 Internal Auditor exam + ISO 27001 Internal Auditor exam

ISO 9001 Internal Auditor exam + ISO 13485 Internal Auditor exam

ISO 9001 Internal Auditor exam + ISO 45001 Internal Auditor exam

ISO 14001 Internal Auditor exam + ISO 45001 Internal Auditor exam

Lead Auditor course exam bundles:

ISO 9001 Lead Auditor exam + ISO 14001 Lead Auditor exam

ISO 9001 Lead Auditor exam + ISO 13485 Lead Auditor exam

ISO 9001 Lead Auditor exam + ISO 45001 Lead Auditor exam

ISO 14001 Lead Auditor exam + ISO 45001 Lead Auditor exam

Lead Implementer course exam bundles:

ISO 9001 Lead Implementer exam + ISO 14001 Lead Implementer exam

ISO 9001 Lead Implementer exam + ISO 13485 Lead Implementer exam

ISO 9001 Lead Implementer exam + ISO 45001 Lead Implementer exam

ISO 14001 Lead Implementer exam + ISO 45001 Lead Implementer exam

2/ ISO 27001/EU GDPR-related bundles:

ISO 27001 Foundations exam + EU GDPR Foundations exam

ISO 27001 Foundations exam + ISO 9001 Foundation exam

ISO 27001 Internal Auditor exam + EU GDPR Data Protection Officer exam

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ISO 27001 Lead Auditor exam + ISO 9001 Lead Auditor exam

ISO 27001 Lead Implementer exam + ISO 9001 Lead Implementer exam

Take the ISO 9001 course exam and get the ISO 14001, ISO 13485, or 45001 course exam for free

Take ISO 27001 course exam and get the EU GDPR course exam for Free

Take the ISO 27001 course exam and get the EU GDPR course exam for free

Tags: EU GDPR, ISO 13485, ISO 14001, iso 27001, ISO 45001, iso 9001

Feb 10 2022

French data protection authority says Google Analytics is in violation of GDPR

Category: data security,GDPRDISC @ 10:28 pm
French data protection authority says Google Analytics is in violation of GDPR

French data protection authority says Google Analytics is in violation of GDPR

The French national data protection authority, CNIL, issued a formal notice to managers of an unnamed local website today arguing that its use of Google Analytics is in violation of the European Union‚Äôs General Data Protection Regulation, following a similar decision by Austria last month

The root of the issue stems from the website‚Äôs use of Google Analytics, which functions as a tool for managers to track content performance and page visits. CNIL said the tool‚Äôs use and transfer of personal data to the U.S. fails to abide by landmark European regulations because the U.S. was deemed to not have equivalent privacy protections.

European regulators including CNIL have been investigating such complaints over the last two years, following a decision by the EU‚Äôs top court that invalidated the U.S.‚Äôs ‚ÄúPrivacy Shield‚ÄĚ agreement on data transfers. NOYB, the European Center for Digital Rights, reported 101 complaints in 27 member states of the EU and 3 states in the European Economic Area against data controllers who conduct the transatlantic transfers.¬†¬†

Privacy Shield, which went into effect in August of 2016, was a ‚Äúself-certification mechanism for companies established in the United States of America,‚ÄĚ according to CNIL. 

Originally, the Privacy Shield was considered by the European Commission to be a sufficient safeguard for transferring personal data from European entities to the United States. However, in 2020 the adequacy decision was reversed due to no longer meeting standards. 

An equivalency test was used to compare European and U.S. regulations which immediately established the U.S.‚Äôs failure to protect the data of non-U.S. citizens. European citizens would remain unaware that their data is being used and how it is being used, and they cannot be compensated for any misuse of data, CNIL found. 

CNIL concluded that Google Analytics does not provide adequate supervision or regulation, and the risks for French users of the tool are too great.

‚ÄúIndeed, if Google has adopted additional measures to regulate data transfers within the framework of the Google Analytics functionality, these are not sufficient to exclude the possibility of access by American intelligence services to this data,‚ÄĚ CNIL said. 

The unnamed site manager has been given a month to update its operations to be in compliance with GDPR. If the tool cannot meet regulations, CNIL suggests transitioning away from the current state of Google Analytics and replacing it with a different tool that does not transmit the data. 

The privacy watchdog does not call for a ban of Google Analytics, but rather suggests revisions that follow the guidelines. ‚ÄúConcerning the audience measurement and analysis services of a website, the CNIL recommends that these tools be used only to produce¬†anonymous¬†statistical data, thus allowing an¬†exemption from consent¬†if the data controller ensures that there are no illegal transfers,‚ÄĚ the watchdog said.¬†

source: https://


GDPR Practitioner Guide

Tags: French data protection authority, gdpr, GDPR Practitioner Guide, Google Analytics

May 24 2021

GDPR compliance without the complexity

Category: GDPRDISC @ 12:53 pm
GDPR Toolkit

Most management systems, compliance, and certification projects require documented policies, procedures, and work instructions. GDPR compliance is no exception. Documentation of policies and processes are vital to achieve compliance.

ITG¬†GDPR Documentation Toolkit¬†gives you a complete set of easily customizable GDPR-compliant documentation templates to help you demonstrate your compliance with the GDPR’s requirements quickly, easily, and affordably.

‚ÄúHaving recently kicked off a GDPR project with a large international organisation I was tasked with creating their Privacy Compliance Framework. The GDPR toolkit provided by IT Governance proved to be invaluable providing the project with a well organised framework of template documents covering all elements of the PIMS framework. It covers areas such as Subject Access Request Procedure, Retention of Records Procedure and Data Protection Impact Assessment Procedure helping you to put in practice policies and procedures to enable the effective management of personal information on individuals. For anyone seeking some support with their GDPR plans the toolkit is well work consideration.‚ÄĚ

– Chris Prantl

Tags: #GDPR #DataBreachNotification, gdpr compliance, GDPR implementation, GDPR toolkit

Feb 19 2021

66% of Workers Risk Breaching GDPR by Printing Work-Related Docs at Home

Category: GDPRDISC @ 10:27 pm

Two-thirds of remote workers risk potentially breaching GDPR guidelines by printing out work-related documents at home, according to a new study from Go Shred.

The confidential shredding and records management company discovered that 66% of home workers have printed work-related documents since they began working from home, averaging five documents every week. Such documents include meeting notes/agendas (42%), internal documents including procedure manuals (32%), contracts and commercial documents (30%) and receipts/expense forms (27%).

Furthermore, 20% of home workers admitted to printing confidential employee information including payroll, addresses and medical information, with 13% having printed CVs or application forms.

The issue is that, to comply with the GDPR, all companies that store or process personal information about EU citizens within EU states are required to have an effective, documented, auditable process in place for the collection, storage and destruction of personal information.

However, when asked whether they have disposed of any printed documents since working from home, 24% of respondents said they haven’t disposed of them yet as they plan to take them back to the office and a further 24% said they used a home shredding machine but disposed of the documents in their own waste. This method of disposal is not recommended due to personal waste bins not providing enough security for confidential waste and therefore still leaving employers open to a data breach and potential fines, Go Shred pointed out.

Most concerning of all, 8% of those polled said they have no plans to dispose of the work-related documents they have printed at home, with 7% saying they haven’t done so because they do not know how to.

Source: 66% of Workers Risk Breaching GDPR by Printing Work-Related Docs at Home via Infosecurity Magazine

Tags: GDPR by Printing

Aug 22 2019

‚Äė2019 is the year of enforcement‚Äô: GDPR fines have begun

Category: GDPRDISC @ 2:57 pm

The Information Commissioner’s Office levied fines against British Airways and Marriott International for violating the GDPR.

Source: ‚Äė2019 is the year of enforcement‚Äô: GDPR fines have begun – Digiday

British Airways faces $230 million fine over GDPR breach

Marriott Faces GDPR Fines: A DPO and CISO Discussion

Steps to GDPR Compliance

Archived GDPR posts

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Jul 29 2019

5 ways to avoid a GDPR fine

Category: GDPRDISC @ 10:04 am

After the ICO issues $450 million of GDPR fines in a week, be sure you’re not next.
Source: 5 ways to avoid a GDPR fine

GDPR For Consultants – Training Webinar


What You Need to Know about General Data Protection Regulation

DISC InfoSec – Previous articles in GDPR category

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Tags: #GDPR #DataBreachNotification, gdpr compliance, GDPR Privacy

Jul 26 2019

How to write a GDPR data breach notification procedure – with template example

Category: Data Breach,GDPR,Information PrivacyDISC @ 2:05 pm

Discover how to write a GDPR data breach notification procedure to help you with your GDPR compliance. Including a free template example. Read now

Source: How to write a GDPR data breach notification procedure – with template example – IT Governance Blog

Personal data breach notification procedures under the GDPR

Organizations must create a procedure that applies in the event of a personal data breach under Article 33 ‚Äď ‚ÄúNotification of a personal data breach to the supervisory authority‚Ä̬†‚Äď and Article 34 of the GDPR ‚Äď ‚ÄúCommunication of a personal data breach to the data subject‚ÄĚ.

Help with creating a data breach notification template

The picture above is an example of what a data breach notification might look like ‚Äď available from the market-leading¬†EU GDPR Documentation Toolkit¬†‚Äď which sets out the scope of the procedure, responsibilities and the steps that will be taken by the organization to communicate the breach from:

  • Data processor to data controller;
  • Data controller to supervisory authority; and
  • Data controller to data subject.


GDPR Implementation Bundle


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Tags: #GDPR #DataBreachNotification

Sep 25 2018

Privacy notice under the GDPR

Category: GDPRDISC @ 8:58 pm


A privacy notice is a public statement of how your organisation applies data protection principles to processing data. It should be a clear and concise document that is accessible by individuals.

Articles 12, 13 and 14 of the GDPR outline the requirements on giving privacy information to data subjects. These are more detailed and specific than in the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

The GDPR says that the information you provide must be:

  • Concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible;
  • Written in clear and plain language, particularly if addressed to a child; and
  • Free of charge.

Help with creating a privacy notice template

The privacy notice should address the following to sufficiently inform the data subject:

  • Who is collecting the data?
  • What data is being collected?
  • What is the legal basis for processing the data?
  • Will the data be shared with any third parties?
  • How will the information be used?
  • How long will the data be stored for?
  • What rights does the data subject have?
  • How can the data subject raise a complaint?

Below is an example of a customisable privacy notice template, available from IT Governance here.

GDPR Privacy Notice Template - Example from the EU GDPR Documentation Toolkit

Example of the privacy notice template available to purchase from IT Governance

If you are looking for a complete set of GDPR templates to help with your compliance project, you may be interested in the market-leading EU GDPR Documentation Toolkit. This toolkit is designed and developed by expert GDPR practitioners, and has been used by thousands of organisations worldwide. It includes:

  • A complete set of easy-to-use and customisable documentation templates, which will save you time and money and ensure GDPR compliance;
  • Helpful dashboards and project tools to ensure complete GDPR coverage;
  • Direction and guidance from expert GDPR practitioners; and
  • Two licences for the¬†GDPR Staff Awareness E-learning Course.

Tags: GDPR Privacy, GDPR Privacy Notice

Feb 21 2018

Six Essential Data Protection and Privacy Requirements Under GDPR

Category: GDPRDISC @ 10:17 am
By Leighton Johnson, CISA, CISM, CIFI, CISSP

With the advent of the European Union (EU) deadline for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU 2016/679 regulation) coming up on 25 May 2018, many organizations are addressing their data gathering, protection and retention needs concerning the privacy of their data for EU citizens and residents. This regulation has many parts, as ISACA has described in many of its recent publications and events, but all of the efforts revolve around the protection and retention of the EU participants’ personal information. The 6 main areas for data protection defined in this regulation are:

  1. Data security controls need to be, by default, active at all times. Allowing security controls to be optional is not recommended or even suggested. ‚ÄúAlways on‚ÄĚ is the mantra for protection.
  2. These controls and the protection they provide must be embedded inside all applications. The GDPR view is that privacy is an essential part of functionality, the security of the system and its processing activities.
  3. Along with embedding the data protection controls in applications, the system must maintain data privacy across the entire processing effort for the affected data. This end-to-end need for protection includes collection efforts, retention requirements and even the new ‚Äúright to be forgotten‚ÄĚ requirement, wherein the customer has the right to request removal of their data from an organization‚Äôs storage.
  4. Complete data protection and privacy adds full-functional security and business requirements to any processing system in this framework for data privacy. It provides that business requirements and data protection requirements be equally important during the business process.
  5. The primary requirement for protection within the GDPR framework demands the security and privacy controls implemented are proactive rather than reactive. As its principal goal, the system needs to prevent issues, releases and successful attacks. The system is to keep privacy events from occurring in the first place.
  6. With all of these areas needed under GDPR, the most important point for organizations to understand about GDPR is transparency. The EU wants full disclosure of an organization’s efforts, documentation, reviews, assessments and results available for independent third-party review at any point. The goal is to ensure privacy managed by these companies is not dependent upon technology or business practices. It needs to be provable to outside parties and, therefore, acceptable. The EU has purposely placed some strong fine structures and responses into this regulation to ensure compliance.

Having reviewed various organizational efforts in preparation for GDPR implementation, it has been found that it is good practice to look at these 6 areas for all the collected and retained data, not just EU-based data. This zero-tolerance approach to data breaches is purposely designed to be stringent and strong. Good luck to all in meeting and maintaining the data privacy and security requirements of GDPR.

Steps to EU GDPR compliance


Nov 08 2017

How ISO 27001 can help to achieve GDPR compliance

Category: GDPR,ISO 27kDISC @ 2:44 pm


By Julia Dutton

Organizations have until 25 May 2018 to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Those who have studied the Regulation will be aware that there are many references to certification schemes, seals and marks. The GDPR encourages the use of certification schemes like ISO 27001 to serve the purpose of demonstrating that the organisation is actively managing its data security in line with international best practice.

Managing people, processes and technology

ISO 27001 is the international best practice standard for information security, and is a certifiable standard that is broad-based and encompasses the three essential aspects of a comprehensive information security regime: people, processes and technology.  By implementing measures to protect information using this three-pronged approach, the company is able to defend itself from not only technology-based risks, but other, more common threats, such as poorly informed staff or ineffective procedures.

By implementing ISO 27001, your organisation will be deploying an ISMS (information security management system): a system that is supported by top leadership, incorporated into your organisation‚Äôs culture and strategy, and which is constantly monitored, updated and reviewed.¬† Using a process of continual improvement, your organisation will be able to ensure that the ISMS adapts to changes ‚Äď both in the environment and inside the organisation ‚Äď to continually identify and reduce risks.

What does the GDPR say?

The GDPR states clearly in Article 32 that “the controller and the processor shall implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk, including inter alia as appropriate:

  1. the pseudonymisation and encryption of personal data;
  2. the ability to ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of processing systems and services;
  3. the ability to restore the availability and access to personal data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident;
  4. a process for regularly testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of technical and organisational measures for ensuring the security of the processing.‚ÄĚ

Let’s look at these items separately:

Encryption of data is recommended by ISO 27001 as one of the measures that can and should be taken to reduce the identified risks.  ISO 27001:2013 outlines 114 controls that can be used to reduce information security risks.  Since the controls an organisation implements are based on the outcomes of an ISO 27001-compliant risk assessment, the organisation will be able to identify which assets are at risk and require encryption to adequately protect them.

One of ISO 27001’s core tenets is the importance of ensuring the ongoing confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.  Not only is confidentiality important, but the integrity and availability of such data is critical as well. If the data is available but in a format that is not usable because of a system disruption, then the integrity of that data has been compromised; if the data is protected but inaccessible to those who need to use it as part of their jobs, then the availability of that data has been compromised.

Risk assessment

ISO 27001 mandates that organisations conduct a thorough risk assessment by identifying threats and vulnerabilities that can affect an organisation’s information assets, and to take steps to assure the confidentiality, availability and integrity (CIA) of that data. The GDPR specifically requires a risk assessment to ensure an organisation has identified risks that can impact personal data.

Business continuity

ISO 27001 addresses the importance of business continuity management, whereby it provides a set of controls that will assist the organisation to protect the availability of information in case of an incident and protect critical business processes from the effects of major disasters to ensure their timely resumption.

Testing and assessments

Lastly, organisations that opt for certification to ISO 27001 will have their ISMSs independently assessed and audited by an accredited certification body to ensure that the management system meets the requirements of the Standard. Companies need to regularly review their ISMS and conduct the necessary assessments as prescribed by the Standard in order to ensure it continues protecting the company’s information. Achieving accredited certification to ISO 27001 delivers an independent, expert assessment of whether you have implemented adequate measures to protect your data.

The requirements to achieve compliance with ISO 27001 of course do not stop there.  Being a broad standard, it covers many other elements, including the importance of staff awareness training and leadership support.  ISO 27001 has already been adopted by thousands of organisations globally, and, given the current rate and severity of data breaches, it is also one of the fastest growing management system standards today.

Related articles:

Read more about ISO 27001 and the GDPR >>>>
GDPR Documentation Toolkit and gap assessment tool >>>>
Understanding the GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation >>>>


Oct 18 2017

GDPR essentials and how to achieve compliance

Category: data security,GDPRDISC @ 9:51 am


The GDPR will replace these with a pan-European regulatory framework effective from 25 May 2018. ¬†The GDPR applies to all EU organizations ‚Äď whether commercial business or public authority ‚Äď that collect, store or process the personal data (PII) of EU individuals.

Organizations based outside the EU that monitor or offer goods and services to individuals in the EU will have to observe the new European rules and adhere to the same level of protection of personal data. This potentially includes organizations everywhere in the world, regardless of how difficult it may be to enforce the Regulation. Compliance consultant must know the following 9 tenants of the GDPR.


  • Supervisory Authority – A one-stop shop provision means that organizations will only have to deal with a single supervisory authority, not one for each of the EU‚Äôs 28 member states, making it simpler and cheaper for companies to do business in the EU.


  • Breach Disclosure – Organizations must disclose and document the causes of breaches, effects of breaches, and actions taken to address them.


  • Processor must be able to provide ‚Äúsufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures‚ÄĚ to ensure that processing will comply with the GDPR and that data subjects‚Äô rights are protected. This requirement flows down the supply chain, so a processor cannot subcontract work to a second processor without the controller‚Äôs explicit authorization. If requested by subject you must cease processing and using his or her data for some limited period of time.


  • Data Consent – The Regulation imposes stricter requirements on obtaining valid consent from individuals to justify the processing of their personal data. Consent must be ‚Äúfreely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the individual‚Äôs wishes‚ÄĚ. The organization must also keep records so it can demonstrate that consent has been given by the relevant individual. Data can only be used for the purposes that data subject originally explicitly consented. You must obtain and document consent for only one specific purpose at a time.


  • Right to be forgotten – Individuals have a right to require the data controller to erase all personal data held about them in certain circumstances, such as where the data is no longer necessary for the purposes for which it was collected. If requested by subject, you must erase their data on premises, in apps and on devices.


  • Data portability – Individuals will have the right to transfer personal data from one data controller to another where processing is based on consent or necessity for the performance of a contract, or where processing is carried out by automated means


  • Documentation – The Regulation requires quite a bit of documentation. In addition to the explicit and implicit requirements for specific records (especially including proof of consent from data subjects), you should also ensure that you have documented how you comply with the GDPR so that you have some evidence to support your claims if the supervisory authority has any cause to investigate.


  • Fines – Major noncompliance of the law will be punishable by fines of up to either 4% or ‚ā¨20 million of group annual worldwide turnover.


Data protection by design ‚Äď Organization must ensure data security and data privacy across cloud and endpoints as well as design their system and processes that protects from unauthorized data access and malware.¬† Specifically, organizations must take appropriate technical and organizational measures before data processing begin to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Regulation. Data privacy risks must be properly assessed, and controllers may use adherence to approved codes of conduct or management system certifications, such as ISO 27001, to demonstrate their compliance.


How to improve information security under the GDPR

Although many businesses understand the importance of implementing the right procedures for detection, report and investigate a data breach, but not many are aware of how to go about this effectively, especially during implementation phase.


Seven steps that can help you prevent a data breach:

  1. Find out where your personal information resides and prioritize your data.
  2. Identify all the risks that could cause a breach of your personal data.
  3. Apply the most appropriate measures (controls) to mitigate those risks.
  4. Implement the necessary policies and procedures to support the controls.
  5. Conduct regular tests and audits to make sure the controls are working as intended.
  6. Review, report and update your plans regularly.
  7. Implement comprehensive and robust ISMS.


ISO 27001, the international information security standard, can help you achieve all of the above and protect all your other confidential company information, too. To achieve GDPR compliance, feel free to contact us for more detail on implementation.

Related articles on GDPR and ISO 27k

The GDPR and Personal Data…HELP! from Cloud Security Alliance

Tags: gdpr, gdpr compliance

Sep 27 2017

Data flow mapping under the EU GDPR

Category: data security,GDPR,Security ComplianceDISC @ 8:56 am

As part of an EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance project, organisations will need to map their data and information flows in order to assess their privacy risks. This is also an essential first step for completing a data protection impact assessment (DPIA), which is mandatory for certain types of processing.

The key elements of data mapping

To effectively map your data, you need to understand the information flow, describe it and identify its key elements.

1. Understand the information flow

An information flow is a transfer of information from one location to another, for example:

  • From inside to outside the European Union; or
  • From suppliers and sub-suppliers through to customers.

2. Describe the information flow

  • Walk through the information lifecycle to identify unforeseen or unintended uses of data. This also helps to minimise what data is collected.
  • Make sure the people who will be using the information are consulted on the practical implications.
  • Consider the potential future uses of the information collected, even if it is not immediately necessary.

3. Identify its key elements

Data items

  • What kind of data is being processed (name, email, address, etc.) and what category does it fall into (health data, criminal records, location data, etc.)?


  • In what format do you store data (hardcopy, digital, database, bring your own device, mobile phones, etc.)?

Transfer method

  • How do you collect data (post, telephone, social media) and how do you share it internally (within your organisation) and externally (with third parties)?


  • What locations are involved within the data flow (offices, the Cloud, third parties, etc.)?


  • Who is accountable for the personal data? Often this changes as the data moves throughout the organisation.


  • Who has access to the data in question?


The key challenges of data mapping

  • Identifying personal data¬†Personal data can reside in a number of locations and be stored in a number of formats, such as paper, electronic and audio. Your first challenge is deciding what information you need to record and in what format.
  • Identifying appropriate technical and organizational safeguards¬†The second challenge is likely to be identifying the appropriate technology ‚Äď and the policy and procedures for its use ‚Äď to protect information while also determining who controls access to it.
  • Understanding legal and regulatory obligations¬†Your final challenge is determining what your organisation‚Äôs legal and regulatory obligations are. As well as the GDPR, this can include other compliance standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and ISO 27001.Once you‚Äôve completed these three challenges, you‚Äôll be in a position to move forward, gaining the trust and confidence of your key stakeholders.


Data flow mapping

To help you gather the above information and consolidate it into one area, Vigilant Software, a subsidiary of IT Governance, has developed a data flow mapping tool with a specific focus on the GDPR.


Order Today


Tags: data flow mapping, data privacy, data security, gdpr

Aug 11 2017

GDPR Documentation Toolkit and gap assessment tool

Category: GDPR,IT Governance,Security ComplianceDISC @ 10:46 am

Data Protection / EU GDPR Toolkits


Use this gap assessment tool to:

  • Quickly identify your GDPR compliance gaps
  • Plan and prioritize your GDPR project

EU GDPR Compliance Gap Assessment Tool


Accelerate your GDPR compliance implementation project with the market-leading EU GDPR Documentation Toolkit used by hundreds of organizations worldwide, now with significant improvements and new content for summer 2017:

  • A complete set of easy-to-use and customizable documentation templates, which will save you time and money, and ensure compliance with the GDPR.
  • Easy-to-use dashboards and project tools to ensure complete coverage of the GDPR.
  • Direction and guidance from expert GDPR practitioners.
  • Includes two licenses for the GDPR Staff Awareness E-learning Course.

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Documentation Toolkit

Aug 09 2017

EU GDPR: Does my organization need to comply?

Category: GDPR,Security ComplianceDISC @ 9:36 am

By Chloe Biscoe

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new law that will harmonize data protection in the European Union (EU) and will be enforced from May 25, 2018. It aims to protect EU residents from data and privacy breaches, and has been introduced to keep up with the modern digital landscape.

Who needs to comply with the GDPR?

The GDPR will apply to all organizations outside of the EU that process the personal data of EU residents.

Non-compliance can result in hefty fines of up to 4% of annual global turnover or ‚ā¨20 million $23.5 million) ‚Äď whichever is greater.

Organizations that are compliant with the new Regulation will also find that their processes and contractual relationships are more robust and reliable.

What do US organizations need to do to comply with the GDPR?

The transition period for compliance with the GDPR ends in May 2018. This means that organizations now have less than ten months to make sure they are compliant.

For US organizations, the most significant change concerns the territorial reach of the GDPR.

The GDPR will supersede the current EU Data Protection Directive. Under the current Regulation, organizations without a physical presence or employees in the EU have one main compliance issue to deal with: How to legally transfer data out of the EU. The EU‚ÄďUS Privacy Shield provides such a mechanism for compliance.

Almost all US organizations that collect or process EU residents’ data will need to comply fully with the requirements of the GDPR. US organizations without a physical EU presence must also appoint a GDPR representative based in a Member State.

Save 10% on your essential guide to the GDPR and the EU‚ÄďUS Privacy Shield

EU GDPR & EU-US Privacy Shield ‚Äď A Pocket GuideAugust‚Äôs book of the month is the ideal resource for anyone wanting a clear primer on the principles of data protection and their new obligations under the GDPR and the EU‚ÄďUS Privacy Shield.

Alan Calder‚Äôs¬†EU GDPR & EU-US Privacy Shield ‚Äď A Pocket Guide¬†explains in simple terms:

  • The terms and definitions used within the GDPR and the EU-US Privacy Shield
  • The key requirements
  • How to comply with the Regulation


Data Protection / EU GDPR Toolkits


May 25 2023

What are the Common Security Challenges CISOs Face?

Category: CISO,vCISODISC @ 3:34 pm

Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) hold a critical and challenging role in today’s rapidly evolving cybersecurity landscape. Here are the common security challenges CISOs face.

As organizations increasingly rely on technology to drive their operations, CISOs face complex security challenges that demand their expertise and strategic decision-making.

These challenges arise from the constant emergence of sophisticated cyber threats, the need to protect sensitive data, and the ever-evolving regulatory landscape.

The role of a CISO requires balancing proactive risk mitigation with the ability to respond swiftly to incidents and breaches.

This article will delve into the top challenges CISOs face, including protecting digital assets, managing security incidents, ensuring compliance, dealing with insider threats, and the relentless pursuit of cyber resilience.

By understanding these challenges, CISOs can develop robust cybersecurity strategies and lead their organizations toward a secure and resilient future.

Who is a CISO?

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is a senior executive responsible for overseeing and administering an organization’s information security plan.

A CISO’s primary responsibility is safeguarding the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of an organization’s information assets and systems.

They are accountable for creating and enforcing strategies, policies, and procedures to defend against cyber threats, protect sensitive data, and mitigate security risks.

CISOs play a crucial role in maintaining an organization‚Äôs security posture by establishing and enforcing security standards, conducting risk assessments, and implementing appropriate security controls.

They collaborate with other executives, IT teams, and stakeholders to align security initiatives with business objectives and ensure that security measures are integrated into the organization’s operations.

In addition to their technical expertise, CISOs often engage in risk management, incident response planning, security awareness training, and compliance with regulatory requirements.

They stay updated on the latest cybersecurity trends, threats, and technologies to address emerging risks and implement appropriate security measures effectively.

The role of a CISO has become increasingly important as cyber threats evolve in complexity and frequency.

CISOs are responsible for safeguarding the organization’s sensitive information, maintaining the trust of customers and stakeholders, and ensuring business continuity in the face of cybersecurity challenges.

CISO Guide to Balancing Network Security Risks Offered by Perimeter 81 for free, helps to prevent your network from being at Risk.

What are all the Roles and Responsibilities of CISO?

  1. Developing and Implementing Information Security Strategy: The CISO is responsible for developing and implementing an overarching information security strategy aligned with the organization‚Äôs business objectives. This includes setting security goals, defining security policies and procedures, and establishing risk management frameworks.
  2. Leading the Security Team: The CISO manages and provides leadership to the security team, including hiring, training, and supervising security personnel. They ensure the team has the necessary skills, resources, and support to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
  3. Overseeing Security Operations: The CISO oversees day-to-day security operations, including incident response, vulnerability management, threat intelligence, and security monitoring. They ensure appropriate controls, technologies, and processes are in place to protect the organization‚Äôs assets.
  4. Risk Management: The CISO is responsible for identifying and assessing security risks to the organization‚Äôs information systems and assets. They develop and implement risk management strategies to safeguard critical data and systems, including risk mitigation, transfer, and acceptance.
  5. Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: The CISO ensures that the organization complies with relevant security regulations, industry standards, and legal requirements. They stay updated on emerging regulations and ensure appropriate controls and processes are in place to meet compliance obligations.
  6. Security Incident Response: The CISO leads the organization‚Äôs response to security incidents, including data breaches, malware attacks, and other security breaches. They establish incident response plans, coordinate efforts, and collaborate with relevant stakeholders, such as legal, PR, and law enforcement agencies.
  7. Security Awareness and Training: The CISO promotes a culture of security awareness throughout the organization. They develop and deliver security awareness programs and training initiatives to educate employees on security best practices and minimize human-related security risks.
  8. Vendor and Third-Party Risk Management: The CISO assesses and manages security risks associated with third-party vendors and partners. They establish vendor security requirements, conduct due diligence, and monitor compliance with security standards and contractual obligations.
  9. Security Governance and Reporting: The CISO provides regular reports and updates on the organization‚Äôs security posture to executive management, board members, and other relevant stakeholders. They ensure that security metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are established to measure the effectiveness of security programs.
  10. Incident Investigation and Forensics: In the event of security incidents, the CISO oversees the investigation and forensic analysis to identify the root cause, assess the impact, and prevent future occurrences. As required, they collaborate with internal and external resources, such as forensic experts and law enforcement agencies.

Security Challenges CISOs Face

CISOs face various common security challenges as they strive to protect their organizations‚Äô digital assets and information. Perimeter 81 Guide helps CISOs to prevent their network from being at Risk. Some of the key challenges they encounter include:

  • Sophisticated Cyberattacks: CISOs must defend against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, including advanced persistent threats (APTs), ransomware attacks, social engineering, and zero-day exploits. These attacks can bypass traditional security measures and require constant vigilance and adaptive security strategies.
  • Insider Threats: CISOs need to address the risks posed by insiders, including employees, contractors, or partners who have authorized access to systems and data. Insider threats can involve accidental data breaches, negligence, or malicious intent, requiring a balance between enabling productivity and implementing controls to prevent unauthorized access or data leakage.
  • Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: CISOs must ensure their organizations comply with industry-specific regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, or SOX, and evolving privacy laws. Navigating complex compliance requirements and maintaining a robust security posture to meet these standards can be a significant challenge.
  • Cloud Security: As organizations increasingly adopt cloud services and infrastructure, CISOs must address the unique security challenges associated with cloud computing. This includes securing data stored in the cloud, managing access controls, and ensuring the security of cloud service providers (CSPs) and their environments.
  • Security Skills Gap: CISOs often need more skilled cybersecurity professionals. The industry‚Äôs rapid growth and evolving threat landscape have resulted in high demand for cybersecurity talent, making recruiting and retaining qualified professionals challenging.
  • Third-Party Risk: Organizations rely on third-party vendors and suppliers, introducing potential security risks. CISOs must assess the security posture of third parties, establish contractual security obligations, and monitor their adherence to security standards to mitigate the risk of breaches through these external connections.
  • Security Awareness and Training: Human error remains a significant factor in cybersecurity incidents. CISOs must promote a strong security culture, provide regular training and awareness programs, and educate employees about cybersecurity best practices to minimize the risk of social engineering, phishing attacks, and other user-related vulnerabilities.
  • Incident Response and Recovery: CISOs must develop and test robust incident response plans to manage and recover from security incidents effectively. This involves identifying and containing breaches, conducting forensic investigations, and implementing remediation measures to minimize the impact and prevent future incidents.
  • Emerging Technologies: Adopting technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain introduces new security challenges. CISOs must understand the security implications of these technologies, assess risks, and implement appropriate controls to protect against potential vulnerabilities and attacks.
  • Budget and Resource Constraints: CISOs often face budget limitations and the need to prioritize security initiatives. Balancing the allocation of resources to address immediate security needs while investing in long-term security capabilities can be a significant challenge.

What are the Security Compliance CISO Should Follow

As a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), there are several security compliance frameworks and regulations that you should consider following, depending on the nature of your organization and its operations. Here are some of the key security compliance frameworks and regulations:

  1. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): If your organization deals with the personal data of individuals in the European Union (EU), GDPR sets requirements for the protection, processing, and transfer of personal data. It includes principles for data minimization, consent, data breach notification, and the rights of individuals.
  2. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): PCI DSS applies to organizations that handle credit card information. It sets requirements for securing payment card data, including network security, encryption, access controls, and regular vulnerability assessments.
  3. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): HIPAA applies to organizations in the healthcare industry that handle protected health information (PHI). It establishes requirements for the privacy and security of PHI, including access controls, encryption, risk assessments, and breach notification.
  4. Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX): SOX applies to publicly traded companies in the United States. It sets requirements for financial reporting and establishes controls and processes to ensure the accuracy and integrity of financial statements. While not solely focused on security, it includes provisions for protecting financial data.
  5. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework: The NIST Cybersecurity Framework provides guidelines and best practices for managing cybersecurity risks. It covers risk assessment, security controls, incident response, and continuous monitoring.
  6. ISO 27001: ISO 27001 is an international standard that provides a framework for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an information security management system (ISMS). It covers various aspects of information security, including risk management, access controls, incident management, and security awareness.
  7. Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA): FISMA applies to U.S. federal agencies and sets requirements for securing federal information and systems. It mandates risk assessments, security controls, incident response planning, and continuous monitoring.

Security Challenges CISOs Face to Manage Security Team

Managing a security team as a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) requires effective leadership, communication, and coordination. Here are some key aspects to consider when managing a security team:

  1. Establish Clear Roles and Responsibilities: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member to ensure everyone understands their specific duties and areas of expertise. This clarity helps streamline operations and avoid confusion.
  2. Set Goals and Objectives: Define strategic goals and objectives for the security team aligned with the organization‚Äôs overall security strategy. Communicate these goals to the team and regularly track progress to ensure everyone is working towards the same objectives.
  3. Provide Guidance and Mentorship: Offer team members guidance, mentorship, and professional development opportunities. Encourage skill development, certifications, and staying up-to-date with the latest security trends and technologies‚ÄĒsupport team members in their career growth.
  4. Foster Collaboration and Communication: Promote a collaborative and open communication culture within the team. Encourage knowledge sharing, cross-functional collaboration, and effective communication channels. Regular team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and updates are valuable for aligning efforts.
  5. Support Decision-Making: Empower team members to make decisions within their areas of responsibility. Provide guidance and support when needed, but encourage autonomy and ownership in decision-making. Foster an environment where team members feel comfortable taking calculated risks.
  6. Establish Incident Response Procedures: Develop clear incident response procedures and ensure the team is well-prepared to handle security incidents effectively. Conduct regular drills, tabletop exercises, and simulations to test and improve the team‚Äôs incident response capabilities.
  7. Stay Informed and Adapt: Stay up-to-date with the latest security threats, industry trends, and best practices. Encourage continuous learning and professional development for the team. Adapt security strategies and measures as the threat landscape evolves.
  8. Collaborate with Other Departments: Work closely with other departments, such as IT, legal, HR, and executive management, to ensure security initiatives are aligned with business objectives and integrated into overall organizational operations. Build relationships and foster a culture of security awareness throughout the organization.
  9. Regularly Evaluate and Improve: Regularly evaluate the team‚Äôs performance, processes, and procedures. Collect feedback from team members and stakeholders to identify areas for improvement. Implement changes and adjustments as necessary to enhance the team‚Äôs effectiveness and efficiency.
  10. Lead by Example: Demonstrate strong leadership skills, integrity, and a commitment to security best practices. Lead by example in adhering to security policies and procedures. Encourage a positive and supportive work environment.

Final Thoughts 

CISOs face many common security challenges as protectors of their organization’s digital assets and information.

From sophisticated cyberattacks and insider threats to compliance requirements and resource constraints, these challenges highlight the complex and evolving nature of the cybersecurity landscape.

CISOs must navigate these challenges by adopting a proactive and strategic approach to security, leveraging advanced technologies, fostering a strong security culture, and collaborating with stakeholders.

To overcome these challenges, CISOs must stay abreast of emerging threats, continuously evaluate and improve their security measures, and prioritize investments in critical security capabilities.

They must also foster strong partnerships with internal teams, third-party vendors, and industry peers to collectively address security challenges and share best practices.

While the security challenges CISOs face may seem daunting, they also present opportunities for innovation and growth.

By effectively addressing these challenges, CISOs can enhance their organizations’ security posture, safeguard critical assets, and instill confidence in customers and stakeholders.

Ultimately, the role of a CISO requires a comprehensive and adaptable approach to cybersecurity, where staying one step ahead of threats and continuously improving security measures are paramount.

By embracing these challenges, CISOs can help shape a secure and resilient future for their organizations in an increasingly interconnected and threat-filled digital landscape.

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May 25 2023

CISO Criminalization, Vague Cyber Disclosure Rules Create Angst for Security Teams

Category: CISO,vCISODISC @ 8:53 am
Source: Zoonar GmbH via Alamy Stock Photo

In the wake of the ex-Uber CISO verdict, CISOs ask for clearer rules and less uncertainty in managing disclosures, amid jail-time fears.

Getting cybersecurity incident disclosure right can mean the difference between prison and freedom. But the rules remain woefully vague.

Chief information security officers (CISOs) and their teams know there’s a certain amount of risk intrinsically baked into the job. But the recent sentencing of former Uber CISO Joseph Sullivan for his role in covering up a 2016 data breach at the company has significantly upped the ante. 

SolarWinds CISO Tim Brown survived one of the most spectacular security breaches in history in 2020 in an epic supply chain attack, and emerged on the other side with the business ‚ÄĒ and his professional reputation ‚ÄĒ intact. In an interview with Dark Reading, he explained that CISOs are asking for clarity on rules around disclosures. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has rules, and beyond that, there is a vast and evolving mousetrap of rules, regulations, executive orders, and case law dictating how and when disclosures need to occur, and that’s before anyone considers the impact of an incident on the business.

“Liability is something that has CISOs concerned,” Brown says. “It’s a concerning time and creates stress and angst for teams. We want to be covered.”

A court found Uber’s Sullivan guilty of working to cover up the breach from FTC investigators, as well as trying to keep the breach secret from other Uber executives. Brown acknowledges that Sullivan made the mistake, in the view of the court, of trying to make disclosure decisions unilaterally, without legal guidance, which left him open to prosecution.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act for CISOs?

To avoid making such mistakes, CISOs need something in the mold of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which details financial reporting regulations for chief financial officers (CFOs), Brown says.

In the same way Sarbanes-Oxley prescribes steps that CFOs are expected to take to prevent financial fraud, Brown says that he would like to see new federal regulations that outline CISO requirements for preventing and responding to cybercrime on their watch.

The stakes are high: While Sullivan was only sentenced to three years’ probation for his role in attempting to bury Uber’s data breach, Judge William Orrick used Sullivan’s hearing as an opportunity to send a chilling warning to the next CISO unfortunate enough to find themselves in his court.

“If I have a similar case tomorrow, even if the defendant had the character of Pope Francis, they would be going to prison,” Judge Orrick said to Sullivan. “When you go out and talk to your friends, to your CISOs, you tell them that you got a break not because of what you did, not even because of who you are, but because this was just such an unusual one-off.”

Disclosure Maze

The litany of hazy rules and emerging guidelines doesn’t provide CISOs and cybersecurity teams with a clear path to compliance, meaning in-house counsel and outside legal advisers have become essential in helping organizations navigate the disclosure process maze.

“Enterprise security teams do not exist in a vacuum when it comes to evaluating disclosure of data breaches and security incidents,” says Melissa Bischoping, director of endpoint security research at Tanium, on the current disclosure landscape. “Their responses must be coordinated with legal and communications stakeholders to ensure they are meeting regulatory and legal requirements, and providing the appropriate level of information to the right consumers of the information.”

Beth Waller, an attorney and chair of cybersecurity and data privacy at Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black, says oversight bodies as well as consumers are driving cybersecurity incident transparency ‚ÄĒ and shrinking acceptable disclosure windows.

Waller points to a grab bag of regulations pushing disclosures, such as the Security and Exchange Commission’s demand for immediate data incident disclosure for publicly traded companies, as well as federal regulations on sectors like banking, healthcare, and critical infrastructure demanding disclosures within days of its discovery. Department of Defense contractors must notify the DoD of an incident within 72 hours, she points out.

“For international companies, regulations like the Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) drive similar timelines,” Waller says. “More and more, a company that wants to keep a data incident quiet cannot do so from a regulatory or legal standpoint.”

Disclosure Dangers

As pressure mounts on enterprise cybersecurity teams to disclose quickly, Dave Gerry, CEO of Bugcrowd, acknowledges the value of transparency for trust and the flow of information, but explains he is also concerned that rapid disclosure could rob security teams of priceless time to respond properly to cyberattacks.

“Incident disclosure needs to allow for the opportunity for the security organization to rapidly patch systems, fix code-level vulnerabilities, eject attackers, and generally mitigate their systems prior to publicly disclosing details ensure additional security incidents don‚Äôt come as a result of the disclosure,” Gerry adds. “Identifying the root cause and magnitude of the incident to avoid adding additional fear and confusion to the situation takes time, which is an additional consideration.”

Data ‘Duty of Care’ Defined

Making things more confusing, US state attorneys general are pushing for tougher regulations around cybersecurity incident disclosures, leaving each state with its own unique disclosure landscape riddled with broad, ill-defined requirements like taking “reasonable” actions to protect data.

Veteran CISO and VMware cyber strategist Karen Worstell notes that Colorado AG Philip Weiser took an important step toward clarifying CISO obligations last January, when he offered a definition of “Duty of Care” rules under the Colorado Privacy Act requiring reasonable action be taken to protect personal data.

According to Weiser, the definition was informed by actual cases that have come through his office, meaning it reflected how prosecutors viewed specific data breaches under their jurisdiction.

“First, we will evaluate whether a company has identified the types of data it collects and has established a system for how storing and managing that data ‚ÄĒ including ensuring regularly disposing of data it no longer needs,” Weiser said in prepared remarks regarding data breach rules. “Second, we will consider whether a company has a written information security policy. For companies that have no such policies or have ones that are outdated or exist only in theory with no attempt to train employees or comply with the policy, we will view more skeptically claims that their conduct is reasonable.”

Waller applauds Weiser’s move to clarify disclosure rules in his state. In Colorado, as well as Virginia, the attorney general has the sole authority to hold someone liable for breaking state privacy laws.

“Colorado Attorney General Weiser’s comments provide helpful background on the security considerations state attorney generals will consider in looking at bringing violations under these new data privacy laws,” Waller says.

Despite such strides forward, for now the rules still leave plenty of room for enterprise cybersecurity teams to get it wrong.

“The current emerging cacophony of new state privacy regulations, coupled with a hodgepodge of state data breach laws, means that we can hope a federal privacy law would eventually address the need for uniform guidance for entities experiencing a data breach,” Waller says.

“In the absence of federal guidance, the legal landscape remains simply complex,” Waller adds.

The slow churning of courts, regulatory bodies, and legislatures means it’s going to take time for all parties to get on the same page. But SolarWinds’ Brown expects more standardized rules for CISOs and their organizations to likely emerge over the next five or so years. In the meantime, he suggests keeping legal teams closely involved in all cyber incident responses.

“It will be evolving, and we will get crisper,” Brown says. “I‚Äôm hopeful.”


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Mar 15 2023

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Category: Security Awareness,Security trainingDISC @ 12:40 pm

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Feb 22 2023

Login Details of Tech Giants Leaked in Two Data Center Hacks

Category: Hacking,Security BreachDISC @ 9:54 am

The leaked data includes email addresses, password hashes, names, phone numbers, and more.

Hackers obtained login credentials for several mainstream corporate giants, including Microsoft, Samsung, Uber and Apple, etc. and gained remote access to the entities’ surveillance cameras after attacking two data centers in Asia.

Two Data Centers Hacked- Login Credentials for Amazon, Apple, and BMW Stolen
A screenshot from the leaked data shows login credentials for Samsung, Amazon, Uber, Alibaba and more. (Credit:

This was revealed by the cyber security firm Resecurity. The company originally identified the data breach in September 2021; however, details of it were only revealed to the media now as on February 20th, 2023, hackers leaked the stolen login credentials online.

It is worth noting that these credentials were leaked on Breachforums by a threat actor going by the handle of ‚ÄúMinimalman.‚ÄĚ For your information, Breachforums is a hacker and cybercrime forum that surfaced as an alternative to the popular and now-seized Raidforums.

According to Resecurity, hackers accessed two of the largest data center operators in Asia that were being used by several mainstream companies and technology giants. From there, the hackers could obtain customer support logins for high-profile companies, including Amazon and Apple, BMW, Microsoft, Alibaba, Walmart, Goldman Sachs, etc.

As seen by on the hacker forum, the threat actors managed to obtain and leak credentials from over 2,000 firms and a Chinese foreign-exchange platform.

The data centers have been identified as Shanghai-based GDS Holdings and Singapore-based ST Telemedia Global. Both data centers reportedly forced all customers to change their passwords in January 2023.

Two Data Centers Hacked- Login Credentials for Amazon, Apple, and BMW Stolen


The dangers of hackers obtaining login credentials of tech giants such as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung and others are numerous and severe. Firstly, such credentials allow hackers to access sensitive customer data, including payment information and personal details, which can lead to identity theft and financial fraud.

Secondly, hackers can use these credentials to gain access to the company’s networks, potentially compromising intellectual property and trade secrets. Additionally, with access to company accounts, hackers can launch cyber attacks against other organizations, amplifying the damage caused by their actions.

Furthermore, a breach of a tech giant’s login credentials can have far-reaching consequences, impacting not only the company and its customers but the wider economy and society as a whole. For instance, if a company like Amazon were to suffer a significant data breach, it could lead to a loss of consumer trust, which could in turn affect the confidence of investors and the stock market.

Moreover, a successful hack of a tech giant’s credentials could inspire copycat attacks, leading to an escalation in cybercrime and potentially destabilizing the digital infrastructure that underpins much of our daily lives.

To mitigate these risks, tech giants must remain vigilant in their cybersecurity measures, ensuring that their systems are regularly updated and that their employees are trained to detect and prevent security breaches.

Companies must also invest in advanced technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect and respond to cyber threats in real time. Finally, companies must ensure that they comply with industry standards and regulations related to cybersecurity, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), to protect the privacy and security of their customers.

How to protect from Data Breach?

There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from a data breach:

  1. Use strong, unique passwords: Use different passwords for each of your accounts and make sure they are strong and difficult to guess. Consider using a password manager to keep track of your passwords.
  2. Enable two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring you to provide a second form of identification, such as a code sent to your phone, in addition to your password.
  3. Keep your software up to date: Keep your operating system, web browser, and antivirus software up to date to ensure that they have the latest security updates.
  4. Be cautious of suspicious emails: Be wary of emails from unknown senders or emails that contain suspicious links or attachments. These could be phishing emails designed to trick you into giving away your personal information.
  5. Limit your personal information online: Be cautious about sharing personal information online, and only provide it when necessary. Consider using privacy settings on social media to limit who can see your information.
  6. Monitor your accounts: Keep an eye on your accounts for any suspicious activity and report anything out of the ordinary to the appropriate authorities or financial institutions.

By taking these steps, you can help protect yourself from a data breach and minimize the impact if one occurs.

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Feb 16 2023

What is the tokenization process and why it is so important?

Category: Information Security,pci dssDISC @ 10:27 am

A large number of e-commerce payment platforms use effective payment gateway tools and effectively integrate them with an acceptable payment strategy. Today‚Äôs e-commerce websites need to integrate anti-fraud tools, renew bank cards, integrate multiple gateways, and manage alternative payment methods.

It is important to get these complex integrations right and bring them together into one functioning system; choosing the right tokenization partner is the key to success in these processes.

What is the tokenization process and why is it needed?

Tokenization is an important process of replacing sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, with unique identifying information while preserving all important data information; a tokenization solution is a form of using a unique security key to provide an appropriate level of security to important confidential data.

Think of tokenization as a secret code that uses a key to retrieve an encrypted message. Some versions of the credit card number store the last four digits; however, the remaining digits of the credit number are random.

In this case, you can safely store the token in the database. Anyone with access to this token cannot use it to compromise your credit card account. For these tokens to be used to process credit card transactions, they must be re-linked to the original credit card numbers. Typically, this mapping is performed by a secure third party. All this is done to ensure full security.

Blockchain technology is a technology that most people associate only with cryptocurrencies. This attribution is not entirely incorrect, as the blockchain was created for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. However, much has changed since 2009 (the year Bitcoin appeared), and the scope of blockchain technology continues to actively expand.

One of the key applications of this technology today is tokenization, a secure form of digitization based on the blockchain technology mentioned above. The process of tokenization consists of assigning a specific value to a symbol, which can exist materially or immaterially, and is a digital ‚Äútoken‚ÄĚ that stores data. With this efficient solution, you can securely buy and sell your assets online.

Examples of this use of tokens include the value of the stock market. Most of us associate stocks and bonds with paper-based notices of ownership of those assets, but tokenization allows us to replace those paper notices with digital versions. The implementation of traditional solutions in the digital world simplifies and optimizes a large number of important processes, making them significantly more efficient.

The terms ‚Äútoken‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúcryptocurrency‚ÄĚ are often confused and used interchangeably; not surprisingly, both concepts are closely related to blockchain technology. The key difference between cryptocurrencies and tokens is that cryptocurrencies are a means of payment, whereas tokens cannot; they can be compared to a kind of chip.

A token is created using smart contracts on a specific blockchain network and can perform various key functions. Each blockchain network can contain an unlimited number of tokens.

On the other hand, a smart contract is a kind of computer program embedded in a certain blockchain network that automatically enforces the terms contained in it. Both tokens and cryptocurrencies can be transferred on the blockchain network; however, token transaction fees depend on the cryptocurrency.

What information must be provided for tokenization?

Tokenization is commonly used to protect credit card numbers, a process mandated by the Payment Card Industry Council (PCI). However, there are many different use cases, tokenization terminology allows you to learn a variety of effective tools that provide active growth in the field of security for business organizations for which it is important to reliably protect confidential data.

Consider personal or personally identifiable information. HIPPA, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires confidential processing, anonymization, and secure storage of personal data. Organizations and various business environments should use tokenization capabilities when the business needs to securely store confidential information, such as:

  • ID number;
  • Date of birth;
  • Gender or race;
  • Driver‚Äôs license;
  • Credit card number;
  • Valid phone number;
  • Bank account number;
  • Social insurance number;
  • Current residential address of clients;

Due to the universality of tokens, they are divided into several types that perform different functions. One of the key differences is between mutual tokens and non-splitting tokens. For example, payment tokens are used to make payments. Their function is mainly to ensure the safety of investors. Issued security tokens are protected by law and represent specific stocks, bonds, or other assets of genuine interest.

Are my tokens safe?

Undoubtedly, there are many advantages to using tokens, but is it safe to store data? Security is considered one of the most important benefits of tokenization. Stability, irreversibility of transactions, and elimination of intermediaries are just some of the characteristics that affect security when using blockchain technology.

In addition, the security of tokenization is provided by smart contracts that allow parties to trade directly. For example, selling real estate in the form of tokens does not require a notary or a real estate agent. Everything is done quickly and directly.

Note that each contracting party must ensure that personal tokens are properly stored and protected from loss to properly act as guarantors of successful transactions. Tokenization is a form of business digitization based on blockchain technology.

The potential of tokenization is huge and has yet to be fully explored. Tokens are divided into different types. The most common use of tokens is to digitize different types of assets, such as physical assets, digital assets, projects, company shares, shares, or loans.

What are the different types of tokenization processes?

When it comes to PCI tokens, there are three key types of tokenization: gateway tokenization, end-to-end tokenization, and payment service tokenization. Gateway tokenization. When you do e-commerce, you most likely get paid through a payment gateway.

Most gateways have technology that allows you to securely store your credit card in the system, then issue a refund and delete your card data. The downside is that each gateway provides its token scheme. This means that you cannot use this gateway. Changing gateways is often a time-consuming and expensive process of moving customer data to a new gateway for secure processing. 

In some cases, the gateway may not allow these actions. End-to-end tokenization. Some independent tokenization providers have their technology that sits between your e-commerce site and the gateway. These end-to-end token providers allow you to use your existing gateway integration code.

One of the key advantages of this type of tokenization is that it uses existing technology and can be adapted at a very fast pace. It also has the advantage of modularity. Unlike gateway tokenization, modularity can be actively used for more than just credit card payments. You can use the tokenization model to connect to most APIs and tokenize data other than credit card data.

End-to-end tokenization is an evolution of gateway tokenization. This gives payment solutions the freedom to route transactions to different gateways in real-time, avoiding costly and time-consuming transfers of card data between different payment platforms.

Tokenization processes of various important payment services

A key tokenization strategy is the payment service model. This model offers a single API that, when integrated, can route payments to multiple gateways. The payment service model is best suited for companies with more complex payment needs.

This model works well when a company needs to pay in several regions or several different currencies or through several gateways. A disadvantage of the payment service model is that existing gateway embed code cannot be reused.

In addition to reduced PCI coverage and increased security, the tokenized payment service model has unique key benefits from its active use. The payment services model not only simplifies your embed code but also takes control of your tokens away from the payment gateway. Unlike gateway tokenization, tokens provided by third parties can be actively used with supported gateways. 

Tokens issued by payment gateways cannot be used against competing alternative gateways. Security and compliance alone are reasons enough to implement a popular solution like the tokenization of various assets that are important to you, your company, and your customers.

The truth is that key security requirements for online payments are difficult to implement on your own. In particular, startups often choose to sacrifice security for time to market. Accepting online payments makes your business a target for cybercriminals. Hiring security experts and implementing effective tokenization processes can save your business environment valuable time and money in the long run.

Keep these practical tips in mind. Choose a reliable tokenization partner, test the tokenization, what level of protection you can achieve by working on the integration, and find a vendor that can integrate multiple gateways, methods, and services into a single integration. One of the key technologies needed to connect all payment solutions is tokenization.

A trusted provider fully controls tokens, provides redundancy, reduces PCI coverage, and improves the security standards in place in your business environment.

What can be tokenized?

The use cases for tokenization can grow endlessly. Since anything can be digitized, tokenization is often used in professional life. These are various business projects that can demonstrate the most practical examples of using tokenization.

Digitization of the company involves the creation of tokens that are closely related to a specific project. Tokenization techniques that add value to tokens can be used as an indispensable tool for automating processes in companies and as a means of financing them. Real estate tokenization is becoming more and more popular worldwide due to the following features: transaction speed, lack of intermediaries, and security.

The process of property tokenization involves issuing tokens on the blockchain network and linking them to certain properties. Thus, the investor becomes a co-owner or owner of a certain asset, the shares of which can be represented in tokens.

Using blockchain technology and a specially designed platform, it is also possible to assign unique numbers to gems and certain forms of ore to determine their authenticity.

Raw materials registered with digital numbers can then be identified by verifying their origin, properties, and associated processes. NFT tokens have the unique potential to revolutionize both the physical and digital art markets. Each NFT token has a unique, non-tradable value that allows you to express your interest in the rights to a work of art, making investing in art an easy and fast process.

What is the tokenization process and why it is so important?

Digital Finance: Security Tokens and Unlocking the Real Potential of Blockchain

Blockchain and the Future of Finance

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Feb 09 2023

API Penetration Testing Checklist

Category: API security,Pen TestDISC @ 3:10 pm

API security is an undervalued but crucial aspect of information security. Some of the most common cyber attacks exploit APIs and web applications, and if organisations are to stay secure, they must test their systems to identify and eradicate weaknesses.

Organisations can achieve this with API penetration tests. An ethical hacker (or ‚Äėpenetration tester‚Äô) will examine your applications using the same techniques that a cyber criminal would use. This gives you a real-world insight into the way someone might compromise your systems.

Web application and API tests look specifically at security vulnerabilities introduced during the development or implementation of software or websites. There is no single checklist of how exactly the test should be conducted, but there are general guidelines.

Benefits of API penetration testing

The primary purpose of an API penetration test is to protect your organisation from data breaches. This is crucial given the increased risk of cyber attacks in recent years; according to a UK government report, 39% of surveyed organisations said they suffered a security breach in the past year.

By conducting an API penetration test, you will gain a real-world overview of one of the biggest security threats that organisations face. The tester will use their experience to provide guidance on specific risks and advise you on how to address them.

But penetration tests aren’t only about closing security vulnerabilities. Mitigating the risk of security incidents has several other benefits. For instance, you protect brand loyalty and corporate image by reducing the likelihood of a costly and potentially embarrassing incident.

Penetration testing also helps you demonstrate to clients and potential partners that you take cyber security seriously. This gives you a competitive advantage and could help you land higher-value contracts.

Perhaps most notably, penetration testing is a requirement for several laws and regulations. Article 32 of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), for example, mandates that organisations regularly test and evaluate the effectiveness of their technical and organisational measures employed to protect personal data.

Likewise, if your organisation is subject to the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), you must conduct external penetration tests at least once per year and after any significant changes are made to your systems.

API penetration testing checklist

IT Governance has its own proprietary checklist when conducting API and web application penetration tests.

The system is modelled on the OSSTMM (Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual) and the OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) methodologies.

A high-level overview of our process is outlined below, with a brief description of what is assessed during each section.

1. Authentication

The penetration tester ensures that appropriate mechanisms are in place to confirm a user’s identity. They then review how the authentication process works, using that information to circumvent the authentication mechanism.

2. Authorisation

The tester verifies that access to resources is provided only to those permitted to use them.

Once roles and privileges are understood, the tester attempts to bypass the authorisation schema, finding path-traversal vulnerabilities and ways to escalate the privileges assigned to the tester’s user role.

3. Session management

The tester ensures that effective session management configurations are implemented. This broadly covers anything from how user authentication is performed to what happens when logging out.

4. Input validation and sanitisation

The tester checks that the application appropriately validates and sanitises all input from the user or the environment before using it.

This includes checking common input validation vulnerabilities such as cross-site scripting and SQL injection, as well as other checks such as file uploads, antivirus detection and file download weaknesses.

5. Server configuration

The tester analyses the deployed configuration of the server that hosts the web application. They then verify that the application server has gone through an appropriate hardening process.

6. Encryption

The tester assesses encryption security around the transmission of communication. This includes checking for common weaknesses in SSL/TLS configurations and verifying that all sensitive data is being securely transferred.

7. Information leakage

The tester reviews the application configuration to ensure that information is not being leaked.

This is assessed by reviewing configurations and examining how the application communicates to discover any information disclosure that could cause a security risk.

8. Application workflow

The tester determines whether the application processes and workflows can be bypassed.

Tests are conducted to ensure that application workflows cannot be bypassed by either tampering with the parameters or forcefully browsing. This ensures the integrity of the data.

9. Application logic

The tester analyses how the application uses, stores and maintains data. They do this by checking the underlying technology and any mitigating controls that may affect the risk to the application.

10. Report

The tester documents their findings. Their reports contains an executive summary, which provides a high-level, non-technical summary of any identified vulnerabilities, alongside a summary of the organisation’s business risks and an overall risk rating.

It also contains a comprehensive review of testing details, such as the scope of the assessment, descriptions of the vulnerabilities identified and their impact, plus proofs of concept that support the findings.

Finally, the report provides the tester’s commentary, where they discuss the issues identified and how the vulnerabilities could be linked within an attack chain. This is supplemented with remediation advice and supporting references.

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