Facebook tries to stop “fake news” by surveying its own users
- Do you recognize the following websites?
- How much do you trust each of these domains?
The “fake news” phenomenon is a cybersecurity issue that we predict will be relevant in 2018 and beyond, since social media platforms are used to sway public opinion. As reported by the New York Times, social media companies provided evidence to Congress that Russian influence might have reached 126 million Americans on Facebook and other platforms during the 2016 elections.
Social media critics are questioning whether Facebook’s own users should be trusted to determine which news outlets are “fake news”. In fact, when it comes to domain trust, Facebook itself faces skepticism. A recent Panda Security survey showed that 47 percent of parents consider Facebook “unsafe” for their children to use.
Panda Security has conducted an additional survey using Google Surveys to see how much consumers trust Facebook as a gatekeeper of news and information on their newsfeeds.
We asked a weighted sample of 765 online users in the United States: “How much do you trust Facebook to choose what news you read?”
- 8.2 percent said “A lot” or “Entirely”
- 20.4 percent said “Somewhat”
- 20.0 percent said “Barely”
- 51.5 percent said “Not at all”
The data shows almost three-quarters of respondents have little confidence in Facebook’s ability as a news gatekeeper, with a minority of respondents indicating high levels of trust.
Looking at the data by gender, male survey respondents were more likely to distrust Facebook than female survey respondents. While 73.4 percent of males said they “Barely” trust Facebook or trusted it “Not at all”, 69.7 percent of females said the same.
A larger percentage of males also said they trusted Facebook “A lot” or “Entirely”: 8.9 percent of males versus 7.4 percent of females.
Trust among age groups was fairly consistent. While 49.1 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 answered “Not at all” with respect to level of trust, 56.9 percent of respondents aged 35 to 54 answered the same. Among respondents aged 55 and older, 51.5 percent answered “Not at all”.
The Facebook Trust Survey was written by Panda Security and conducted using Google Surveys. The survey collected responses from 1,015 online users in the United States from January 25 to 27, 2018. Responses were matched down to a weighted sample (by age, gender, and geographic distribution) of 765 to produce the final results.
The following methodology description is provided by Google Surveys: Google Surveys shows questions across a network of premium online news, reference, and entertainment sites (where surveys are embedded directly in the content), as well as through a mobile app, Google Opinion Rewards. On the web, users answer questions in exchange for access to the content, an alternative to subscribing or upgrading. The user’s gender, age, and geographic location are inferred based on anonymous browsing history and IP address. On the mobile app, users answer questions in exchange for credits for books, music, and apps, and users answer demographic questions when first downloading the app. Using this data, Google Surveys can automatically build a representative sample of thousands of respondents. For more detailed information, see the whitepaper.
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Like a lot of people, your mobile phone number is probably easily accessible to anyone with a bit of searching. Imagine if someone could take this number and your name and gain access to your mobile phone account including billing, email address and phone IMSI. Or maybe someone hacked into one of your social accounts and accessed your contact information and all your photos? These very real scenarios at T-Mobile and Instagram both occurred because of application programming interface (API) security vulnerabilities. To learn more about the use of APIs, Imperva commissioned One Poll to study the attitudes of 250 IT managers security professionals.
APIs power the interactive digital experiences users love and are fundamental to an organization’s digital transformation. However, they also provide a window into an application that presents a growing cybersecurity risk. Hackers like APIs because they present multiple avenues to access a company’s data and can be used together in unintentional ways to enable new attacks that exploit web and mobile applications and IoT devices.
The API security survey revealed that on average companies manage 363 different APIs, and that two-thirds (69 percent) of organizations are exposing APIs to the public and their partners.
As noted, public-facing APIs are a key security concern because they are a direct vector to the sensitive data behind applications. Asked about their main API security concern, respondents stated they are most worried about DDoS attacks and bots while 24 percent said they are most concerned about authentication enforcement.
Just over two-thirds of companies treat API security differently than web security, although API security is overseen by IT 78 percent of the time. Eighty percent of organizations use a public cloud service to protect the data behind their APIs with most people using the combination of API gateways (63.2 percent) and web application firewalls (63.2 percent).
Ninety-two percent of IT professionals believe that DevSecOps, the combination of development, security and operations, will play a part in the future of application development. This highlights an increased desire from many organizations for security to be built in from the very beginning of software development rather than as an after-thought.
Companies need to close the door on security risks from API exposure by deploying a multilayered approach to security. To learn more read, “Six Ways to Secure APIs,” and read our full survey results here.
A survey of 4,000 adults from the US, the Asia Pacific (APAC) and Europe indicates a new trend is afoot concerning authentication – particularly in the steps consumers take to safeguard their digital lives.
Examining consumer perspectives around digital identity and authentication, IBM Security found that people are beginning to prioritize security over convenience when logging into services and devices, easing the long-held belief that “convenience is king.”
Millennials and the Generation Z, described in the report as “younger adults,” are a bit careless about the strength of their passwords but are also more likely to entrust their digital identity to biometric locks, multifactor authentication and password managers.
“With millennials quickly becoming the largest generation in today’s workforce, these trends may impact how employers and technology companies provide access to devices and applications in the near future,” says the technology giant.
The report is lengthy and studded with numbers, making it a difficult read for some. To make it easier on the eyes, skim the key findings below:
- While 67 percent are comfortable using biometric authentication today, 87 percent are confident they will join the party soon
- 75 percent of millennials are comfortable using biometrics, less than half use complex passwords (those containing upper and lower case letters, special characters, etc.) and 41 percent reuse passwords
- Older generations showed more care with password creation, but were less inclined to use biometrics and multifactor authentication
- APAC users are more familiar with biometric authentication than consumers in the U.S.
- The average American manages over 150 online accounts that require a password, and that number is expected to double in the coming years
- For social media apps, convenience re-enters the spotlight (36 percent), followed by security (34 percent) and privacy (30 percent)
- 44 percent ranked fingerprint biometrics as one of the most secure methods of authentication
- 55 percent worry about how their biometric data is collected and used, and 50 percent fear others could fake their biometric data and break into their accounts
- Those aged 55 and older use 12 passwords, while Gen Z (ages 18 – 20) averages only five passwords, suggesting they re-use them more
- 75 percent of millennials are comfortable using biometrics, compared to just 58 percent of those over age 55
- APAC users were also the most comfortable with biometrics today (78 percent comfortable vs. 65 percent EU, 57 percent US)
- Europe has the strongest password practices, with 52 percent of respondents using strong passwords, vs. 46 percent in APAC and 41 percent in the US
Overall, the data indicates that younger generations are no longer fond of traditional passwords. IBM believes this poses a challenge for employers that manage millennial users’ access to data.
“As the percentage of millennial and Gen Z employees continues to grow in the workforce, organizations and businesses can adapt to younger generations’ proclivity for new technology by allowing for increased use of mobile devices as the primary authentication factor and integrating approaches that substitute biometric methods or tokens in place of passwords,” the report concludes.
One in five healthcare professionals has experienced breaches of patient data, yet many also say they’re “very confident” in their facility’s ability to protect that data against theft, according to a survey by University of Phoenix College of Health Professions.
Despite increased data breaches in all industries, only a quarter of registered nurses (RNs) have seen changes in the way their companies handle data security over the past year.
The data also reveals a worrying disconnect between healthcare professionals’ confidence in protecting sensitive patient data and the actual protection of that data.
Some 48% of RNs and 57 percent of administrative staff say they are “very confident” their institution can safeguard patient records against potential data theft. At the same time, only 25 percent of RNs and 40 percent of administrative staff cited data security & privacy improvements over the past year.
The University acknowledges that the healthcare industry is “one of the highest targeted by cybercriminals, due to its heavy reliance on technology and vast amount of available patient data.”
Research by Cryptonite NXT supports this claim. According to the company’s Health Care Cyber Research Report for 2017, stolen medical records make for a terrific extortion tool.
One example is the London Bridge Plastic Surgery data breach three months ago, when The Dark Overlord cybercriminal group hacked the high-profile clinic and stole graphic images of celebrities undergoing plastic surgery. The purpose behind the breach was believed to be extortion. No reports confirm this theory, but it’s possible the group got what they were after and kept a lid on it.
Dennis Bonilla, executive dean for the College of Information Systems and Technology at University of Phoenix, believes healthcare providers (HCPs) are “extremely susceptible to human error.”
“If one employee accidently invites malicious malware into a system, the impact can be catastrophic. To limit the amount of breaches, cybersecurity governance must improve,” Bonilla said.
Again, the University’s findings can be easily supported with real-life examples. The WannaCry ransomware attack in May 2017 revealed just how easily malware could move laterally in a computer network.
As avid readers know, the UK’s National Health Service lost hundreds of thousands of patient records in the attack, which leveraged unpatched Windows computers. Patients with life-threatening conditions had to be put on hold, and the financial consequences to NHS were devastating.
On a positive note, nurses and staff administrators agree that additional support and training is needed for healthcare privacy and security. The survey also found that HCPs are taking some steps to better protect patient data, such as updated privacy and access policies, role-based access to sensitive information, and enhanced data surveillance.