Analecta Cyber Company Blog: Privacy Expert has Tips to Prevent Visual Hacking

2016-10-10

Privacy Expert has Tips to Prevent Visual Hacking


Kate Borten of the Visual Privacy Advisory Council explains that although the low-tech nature of visual hacking often goes undetected, there are concrete ways to avoid becoming a victim with simple technology and physical fixes.

Visual hacking has 91 percent success rate, according to the 2016 Global Visual Hacking Experiment released by the Ponemon Institute.

Visual hacking is characterized by spying on physical items like mobile devices, computer screens, and paper records on someone’s desks. Visual hacking is very hard to detect, after all, it can happen so quickly. Moreover, most Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) and Chief Privacy Officers are so focused in its IT development and security infrastructures, while leaving behind other issues which could result to a more vulnerabilities.

Visual hacking tends to get overlooked so easily. One way to minimize the chance of falling victim is through starting an awareness campaign within the organization.

Borten said that some of the most common incidents of visual hacking in hospitals include: improper placement of fax machines in high traffic areas and leaving volumes of paper records near bins. In its quest to maximize desk space, most organizations try to squeeze in everything, which sometimes leads to bad placement of monitors, where they could easily get spied on and fall victim to visual hacking. The risk comes from people who walked-in, which could possibly expose some of the critical information you currently access.

Borten also expressed concerns with mobile devices as it expand the scope of hacking risks.