Hackers reveal leading enterprise security blind spots

Mobile devices and facial recognition software have made the list this year.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Human error is often a factor when cybersecurity barriers fall, but according to hackers, password protection, facial recognition, and access controls are blind spots in corporate network security.

According to Bitglass' Data Games: Security Blind Spots report, both black and white self-labeled hackers said that these security measures are the least effective and it may not even be necessary to brute-force for credentials or snoop and steal them with Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) attacks.

Instead, human error and ignorance are always exploitable weak links and therefore phishing campaigns are the best data exfiltration strategy against the enterprise.

The data protection firm said on Tuesday that out of 129 hackers that attended the Black Hat security conference this year and contributed to the report, the majority said malware and ransomware ranked second as a means to steal or acquire information from companies.

Over 80 percent revealed they had previous experience working in corporate IT teams.

In total, 61 percent of respondents said that the main security blind spot in the enterprise are unmanaged devices, followed by not up-to-date systems, applications and programs at 55 percent.

In addition, 36 percent of hackers said mobile devices are a critical blind spot -- unsurprising considering bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies which connect unknown mobile devices, OS versions, and patch processes to corporate networks.

Data "at rest" in the cloud is also considered a blind spot by 26 percent of respondents, and 20 percent were not impressed by traditional on-premises security.

"Phishing and malware are threats made all the more potent by cloud adoption and the ease with which employees can share corporate data," said Mike Schuricht, VP of Product Management at Bitglass. "Many security technologies fail to address IT's largest blind spots -- unmanaged devices and anomalous access."

Facial recognition also made an appearance in the report as one of the worst tools for security. Apple's new FaceID appears to be entrenched in convenience, rather than as a function for security purposes, and hackers tend to agree.

In total, password-protected documents were ranked as the least effective security tool in use by 33 percent, followed by 19 percent of hackers who said facial recognition was useless as a protection feature and easily compromised.


"In all, the perceived inadequacy of these tools suggests that additional, advanced capabilities like user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) must also be used," Bitglass says.

Whether white or black doesn't matter -- the consensus on the blind spots in enterprise security are the key takeaways. We've seen from the Equifax breach what happens when poor patching processes, updates, and management are in play, and when you add unmanaged and potentially vulnerable devices to the mix, you're making life even easier for attackers to compromise your security.

Cybersecurity reads for every hacker's bookshelf


Hackers hid malware in CCleaner PC tool for nearly a month

Updated: 2.27 million users had the affected software installed on 32-bit Windows machines, CCleaner maker Piriform said.

Russia sentences hackers from Humpty Dumpty ring

Two hackers have been sentenced to three years behind bars.

Editorial standards