Research finds 27 percent of sites that capture Personally Identifiable Information (PII) are doing so insecurely, potentially breaching GDPR guidelines
With the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect on May 25, RiskIQ, the digital threat leader, has discovered that one in nine PII capturing websites belonging to the top 10 UK financial services organisations are doing so without adequate security measures, potentially breaching GDPR guidelines.
Across 28,991 active websites, RiskIQ research found that out of 1,245 sites capturing PII through data entry points accessible by site visitors, 27 percent of these sites (342 sites) are capturing PII insecurely. This equates to an average of 34 sites per organisation.
A PII capturing website is one which accepts user input that can identify an individual. Examples of PII include input data such as name, address, date of birth, and email address. This also extends to pages with iframes and pop-up windows that populate during a browser session and accept data. RiskIQ identifies these by referencing the Document Object Model (DOM) of each page of a website. This method is language agnostic and identifies PII capture regardless of site language.
RiskIQ research found:
- Out of 3,101 public websites with a login page, 294 of these sites (9.4 percent) capture login information insecurely
- Out of 320 sites capturing PII through data entry fields accessible by site visitors, 124 (39 percent) are capturing PII insecurely
Insecure sites are defined as those websites that capture data in clear text using the http protocol, or sites with certificate issues, such as expired certificates, misconfigured certificates or using old and untrusted certificates. The findings highlight one of the key challenges businesses face in the protection of PII, as required by GDPR.
“Companies that haven’t already implemented encryption for all collection and transmission of personal information will have missed the boat in order to comply with the fast-approaching regulation,” said Fabian Libeau, VP EMEA at RiskIQ. “Now more than ever companies need to be aware of their digital footprint. With the ever-expanding number of PII touch points, it’s crucial companies ensure they are tracking all of their digital assets and consistently monitoring for weaknesses in their handling of personal information.”