Exploitation through easily accessible sensitive personal information is the single largest threat to companies and their people today. It’s how nearly all cyber-attacks begin and is at the root of all manner of human and organizational compromise. In this article, we look at how Picnic’s platform and SLNT’s technology both work to keep this sensitive information out of the hands of the bad guys.
Our accessible information makes us vulnerable
We all have bits of information about ourselves out there in cyberspace. Some of this data we provide on our own and some of it is taken without our knowledge. Most of us don’t know how much there really is, or where it is all stored, let alone how to remove it. At the same time, nearly all of us carry around devices that are filled with our personal information and continuously transmit and receive wireless signals. And most of us carry credit cards, driver’s licenses, or passports that contain a tag that can electronically communicate our sensitive data.
This situation creates a critical security problem for both individuals and institutions since threat actors now more than ever are harvesting and weaponizing our information to target us and the organizations with which we are associated.
Whether it’s used for phishing, impersonation, credential stuffing, identity theft, or other malicious actions, our personal data in the wrong hands can inevitably lead to financial fraud, account takeover, ransomware, IP theft, and the like.
These kinds of attacks are ever-growing in both frequency and sophistication to the point where training and awareness can’t keep up. To effectively mitigate this problem, we must reduce the amount of information that is available about us and, whenever possible, make any sensitive data valued by threat actors inaccessible or unusable in an attack. With a combination of Picnic’s enterprise platform and SLNT’s Silent Pocket® Faraday cage technology with Multishield®, organizations and their people can do just that and stay ahead of attackers.
How Picnic works to secure sensitive information online
Nearly all cyberattacks today happen after an attacker conducts reconnaissance on a target’s public data (known as OSINT, or Open-Source Intelligence) and collects personal information about employees and their networks which is then leveraged to manipulate someone into granting initial access.
The public information available online about companies and employees reveals to hackers how they can compromise human targets and bypass the most powerful technical solutions.
The only way organizations can reduce a threat actor’s ability to use OSINT successfully against them is to know the extent of their public data exposure, proactively remove sensitive data, and preemptively neutralize any pathways to compromise that their digital footprint reveals. In this way, they can detect and prevent attacks before they happen.
Picnic is the first technology platform of its kind that allows organizations and their people to automatically see and know the full extent of their public data footprint and to preemptively eliminate or neutralize sensitive information that could be used to compromise them.
The platform provides enterprise security teams with the capability to emulate attacker reconnaissance on the entire OSINT footprint of their organization and its people across the surface web, social media, data brokers, breach repositories, and the deep and dark web. At the same time, Picnic’s technology continuously hunts and flags any sensitive data and PII (personally identifiable information) that would be of value to threat actors, identifies likely human targets and pathways to compromise, and streamlines public data footprint cleansing to prevent attacks.
With Picnic, each and every employee has unprecedented visibility of their exposed personal information online, such as credentials exposed through data breaches, and can automatically neutralize exposed sensitive data before it can be used against them or their company.
Picnic’s technology continuously protects organizations and their employees against a variety of threats including the following:
- Attacker reconnaissance and resource development
- Phishing, impersonation, and other forms of social engineering
- Human compromise and personal exploitation
- Credential compromise and account takeover
- Insider threats, either real or impersonated
- Ransomware and financial fraud
- Identity theft
- IP theft
The result for enterprises who employ Picnic’s technology is a workforce that is less accessible and more difficult for attackers to compromise, either at work or at home, because the public information making up their personal attack surface is dramatically reduced. By extension, the entire human attack surface of the enterprise is diminished and the human risk that most often leads to organizational breaches is proactively remediated, leading to fewer attacks.
How SLNT works to keep sensitive information safe
Our devices store a massive amount of private personal and work data including financial information and passwords to our accounts. This poses a huge security risk for both individuals and companies since our phones, laptops, and tablets are always sending and receiving signals. Even when we think they are off, they are still accessible and hackable through WiFi and Bluetooth.
Whenever we use our devices in a public WiFi area and are connected to an unprotected public network, our personal information is always at risk of being accessed and stolen by hackers, who can then use it against us or our organization. But this is not the only way a bad actor can gain access to valuable information from our devices when we are out in the world.
People who carry or use their devices in a public space with their Bluetooth switched on, for instance, are vulnerable to any cybercriminal in the area with a BlueJacking device, who can then send phishing messages with malicious links to them. If the criminal is also skilled at social engineering, it is only a matter of time before they successfully manipulate one or more users into inadvertently handing over sensitive information or credentials.
Much worse, however, is BlueSnarfing. This is when a malicious actor uses the Bluetooth signal on a device to pair with it and access the data on it including emails, text messages, photos, contact lists, and even passwords, without a person even knowing. And once an attacker has access to a device, they can then install malware for the purpose of continuously accessing valuable data.
Even if we don’t carry our devices in high-traffic areas and opt to store them in our cars out of sight, a thief can easily use Bluetooth scanning to identify the location of our device and physically steal it during the time we are away from our vehicle. All of the personal and business information on that device is then in the hands of the criminal.
Our private data can also be harvested from our driver’s licenses, credit cards, and passports by anyone with the right tools to read the RFID tag on them. This form of theft is known as RFID skimming. It’s a kind of digital pickpocketing that only requires an RFID reader and close physical proximity to a victim, which is easy enough to accomplish in public settings such as airports, subways, and stores.
The only way to protect our devices and our wallets from hackers looking to harvest our personal information is to shield them from the wireless and electronic communications that allow them to be accessed and compromised in the first place.
SLNT’s Silent Pocket® Faraday cage technology with Multishield® is trusted by the military, business leaders, travelers, and governments to protect any device from being remotely accessed and prevent RFID tags from being skimmed by criminals.
SLNT solves many use cases and problems for those individuals who travel throughout the world and use internet-connected (IOT) devices with valuable information. SLNT products include device sleeves and faraday bags that allow the user to integrate privacy, security, and health into their daily life and to become undetectable, untraceable, and unhackable.
The wireless shielding technology used in all SLNT products provides instant protection against a variety of threats including the following:
- Surveillance and eavesdropping
- WiFi hacking
- BlueJacking and BlueSnarfing
- RFID skimming
- Identity theft
- Bluetooth tracking
- GPS tracking, triangulation, or satellite tracking.
- Keyless remote entry hacking
- EMP, solar flare, or static shock
- EMF radiation
The result for people and organizations who use SLNT’s products is peace of mind knowing their sensitive information cannot be wirelessly accessed, spied on, or stolen when on the go and in public environments. As with Picnic’s technology, SLNT provides a level of protection for individual users that extends to their organizations and makes them harder to compromise.
Utilized together, Picnic and SLNT provide institutions and their people with state-of-the-art defense against a multitude of threats by safeguarding the primary source of the danger: our sensitive personal information.