Highlights from the past seven days in information security include encryption insights, Android updates, Facebook at 12 and a data breach at UCF in the US.
Welcome to this week’s security review, which includes insight into encryption, Android security updates, Facebook at 12 and a major data breach at an American university.
Encryption 101: Getting under the skin of this perplexing topic
When it comes to information security, one of the most difficult topics is, without a shadow of a doubt, encryption. In an insightful piece, ESET’s Lysa Myers lifted the lid on this seemingly perplexing concept, explaining that while it is certainly a complex entity, it is far more universal than most people imagine. She remarked: “Most kids have played with a very simple form of encryption at some point: If you have ever had one of those secret decoder rings that came as a prize in a box of cereal, or solved a cryptogram puzzle, you were playing with encryption.”
Android security updates: Can you get the patch?
Google released its latest security update, which revealed numerous Android vulnerabilities, the most serious of which could lead to a remote code execution, explained Graham Cluley. The independent security analyst detailed what the consequences of this could be and noted that while an update will certainly help boost security, for smartphone users, patches might not be so easily – and swiftly – available.
Facebook at 12: Bigger, better, securer?
It has been an amazing 12 years for Facebook, which has gone from being a one-university form of communication to the biggest social network in the world. While it has continued to evolve, going from strength to strength, security remains a concern – cybercriminals are as keen as ever to exploit users. A We Live Security feature offered some timely advice to help bolster defenses against the most commonplace threats, recommending, among other things, switching on login alerts.
Americans ‘worry more about online privacy than losing main income’
It was reported that American consumers are beginning to worry more about online privacy than losing their main source of income. According to the most recent US Consumer Privacy Index, 68% of respondents find the idea of their data being accessed or exploited without their knowledge a huge cause of unease. “The Consumer Privacy Index indicates a need for better privacy awareness,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. “Consumers must learn how to better protect their personal information and manage their privacy.”
New security measures to protect EU data flows to the US
The European Commission and the US have agreed on a landmark new deal that will seek to boost the security around ‘transatlantic data flows’, it was revealed. The framework, dubbed the EU-US Privacy Shield, aims to safeguard the fundamental rights of EU citizens when it comes to their data being transferred to the states. Commenting on this, ESET’s Stephen Cobb said that the new agreement faces a tough test, with legal challenges likely.
63,000 people affected by University of Central Florida data breach
Up to 63,000 people have been affected by a major data breach at the University of Central Florida, the academic institution announced. This includes current and former students and members of staff. While social security numbers were accessed during the incident, other personal and financial information were not compromised. “Safeguarding your personal information is of the utmost importance at UCF,” John C. Hitt, president of the university, noted in an email. “To ensure our vigilance, I have called for a thorough review of our online systems.”