Heartbleed.ca: why cloud services and online banking sites should bolster security now
TORONTO, Ontario April 11, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - From the first reports of the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug earlier this week, IT departments have scrambled to reduce their exposure to the risk and notify concerned users about the safety of their personal information. But access to sensitive websites still needs to be more secure, according to Canadian security experts:
once servers are patched and verifiably secure, companies should not rely on users to reset their own passwords:passwords should be reset by the company
cloud-based services must responsibly notify their users of all the impacted 3rd party sites that may have played a part in the user experience, not just their own
online banking systems should take the opportunity to introduce better security using two-factor authentication, ensuring that access doesn't just depend on user passwords
"It's time Canadian banks offered the added security of a one-time code or token to better protect all their online customers" said Claudiu Popa, security auditor and author of two books on data protection. "It should be available on all sites that handle sensitive personal information, not just those that have been impacted by this latest issue".
Multi-factor authentication vastly reduces breach impact with the need for another code that can only be used for a single visit so stolen passwords cannot be reused in the future.
Many global banks, along with sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Dropbox, Paypal, Microsoft, iTunes and LinkedIn offer optional two-factor authentication.
Canadian companies should take the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage with multi-factor authentication (MFA) and perfect forward secrecy (PFS), technologies that have been available for a long time.
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