FS firms’ sites still insecure a year after GDPR

Almost a year after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect, RiskIQ has discovered that 1 in 10 personally identifiable information (PII) capturing websites belonging to the large UK financial services firms are running without adequate security measures.

While this is down from the 27 per cent of sites identified a year ago, it is still in breach of the regulations.

Across 48,949 active websites, RiskIQ research found that out of 4,512 sites capturing PII through data entry points accessible by site visitors, with 11.5 per cent of these sites (522 sites) capturing PII insecurely.

A PII capturing website is one which accepts user input that can identify an individual. Examples of input data are name, address, date of birth, email address and login credentials. In addition to web pages with data entry fields, the research also extended to pages with pop-up windows that populate during a browser session and accept data.

The analysis found that out of 3,940 public websites with a login page, 442 of these sites - 11 per cent - capture login information insecurely. Out of 572 sites capturing PII through data entry fields accessible by site visitors, 80 of these sites - 14 per cent - are capturing personal information 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.

“This research shows that organisations are continuing to make progress in ensuring that personal data entered online is collected in a secure manner,” said Fabian Libeau, EMEA vice president at RiskIQ.

“However, that we still see instances serves to highlight that there is more to be done – most organisations are continuing to expand their web presence and it's vitally important that they maintain a complete inventory of those sites and the PII collecting pages they contain.”

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