HPE Warns of Risk of Cyber-Security Collateral Damage
Hewlett Packard Enterprise's 2016 Cyber Risk Report finds continued challenges from unpatched systems and widespread impact from breaches.An inconvenient truth about data breaches in 2015 is that the exploitation of one organization often can expose many other organizations and individuals to collateral risk, according to Hewlett Packard Enterprise's 2016 Cyber Risk Report. While 2014 was called the year of the breach in the last Cyber Risk Report, due in part to the high volume of retail breaches that occurred during the year, HPE is calling 2015 the year of collateral damage. "This is the notion that there have been breaches of data, where people were affected, but they had no expectation they would in fact be impacted," Jewel Timpe, senior manager for threat research with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Security Research, told eWEEK. Of particular note is the breach last year of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that impacted 26 million Americans. If an individual was even peripherally connected to someone who applied for a job in the government, that information could have been in the OPM database, Timpe said. Another key trend identified in HPE's 2016 report was one also highlighted in the 2015 Cyber Risk Report—that is a lack of patching. The 2015 report found that 44 percent of breaches were attributed to patched vulnerabilities that were between 2 and 4 years old.
"The industry still has learned nothing about patching in 2015," Timpe said. "The No. 1 vulnerability exploited in 2015 was the same Stuxnet vulnerability (CVE-2010-2568) that was a top exploit in 2014." The vulnerability, which helped enable the Stuxnet worm that was used as a weapon against an Iranian nuclear facility in 2010, was the top exploit sample seen by HPE in 2015, coming in at 29 percent.