What’s the one reason why firms suffer from data security breaches? The reason for the exposure to security threats is that the good guys are still miles behind the crooks. Going by the statistics in 2018, data breaches across the globe witnessed a record jump in data leaks. Such security breaches resulted in the loss of around half a billion consumer’s records, which were either stolen or suffered from malware or a virus attack.
As we step in the New Year, if you think these cyber threats are going to stop, you are in for a rude shock. The trend of escalating cyber threats continues to be the top concern for firms in 2020 as well. The reason being hackers are always on the lookout for innovative techniques to gain access to critical and essential business data. While hackers are using innovative technologies, firms are still debating whether they should include data protection plans in their business strategy. This laid back approach is the reason why firms suffer from financial and reputation loss. To avoid the loss of critical data, firms need to build and manage an effective in-house security program. The aim of firms should be to find a middle ground for responsibly managing the risk that comes in the way while using new technologies.
Before we talk about the policies and procedures, firms can develop to enhance their security program, let’s talk about some of the security breaches that shook the entire world.
Top cybersecurity data breaches every firm must know about
Data breaches take place every day, so is it possible to keep a count? And, what is the difference between minor versus massive data breaches? To know more about the real-life incidents of cybersecurity breaches, we have created this guide. So, without further ado, let’s look at the latest events of cybersecurity breaches.
- Yahoo data breach: In 2016, during the sale negotiation talks with Verizon, Yahoo announced that the company had become the victim of the world’s most significant security breach. This attack was by a state-sponsored actor. And, because of the attack, there was a compromise with the real names, email address, DOB, and telephone numbers of 500 million users. Also, the vast majority of the passwords were affected by the robust bycrypt algorithm. Due to the attack, the firm had to compromise with the security of 3 billion user accounts. Apart from the phone numbers and email addresses, there was a leak of security questions and answers as well. As a result of these security breaches, the once internet giant suffered from a loss of $ 350 million decreases in sale price.
- Marriott International: The date of impact was from 2014-2018. In 2018, cyber thieves stole data of approximately 500 million customers from the company. The breach had an impact on the systems supporting the Starwood hotel brand in 2014. But, even the attack took place in 2014; the company was not able to detect it until September 2018. The impact of the attack ranged from a leak of personal information like phone number, passport number to Starwood Preferred guest numbers, travel information, and other personal information. Hackers also stole the credit card numbers and expiration dates of 100 million customers. After careful investigation, the company revealed that a Chinese intelligence group was responsible for the attack.
- Adult friend finder: This attack took place in October 2016. The FriendFinder Network, which includes casual hook up and adult content websites like Adult Friend Finder, Penthouse.com, Cams.com, iCams.com, and Stripshow.com, was the victim of the attack. In this attack, hackers stole 20 years of data, including names, email addresses, and passwords.
- Blur data breach: The latest incident of cybersecurity breach which shook the entire world was in Jan 2019 by the name Blur data breach. In the security breach, a file containing sensitive private information like user names, email addresses, and usernames and passwords of 2.4 million blur users cane under the attack. After the attack, users had to change their account passwords and go for a multi-factor authentication.
- MEGA collection #1 Breach: The massive data breach took place on Jan 17, 2019. The security researches at Troy Hunt were responsible for bringing the data breach in the light. The researches revealed the presence of an enormous database on the cloud storage known as MEGA. In the attack, hackers uploaded the 1 billion email and passwords present in the Collection #1 folder on different hacking portal and forums. The hackers cracked the protective hashing of the user passwords, resulting in severe damage to users.
Cebuana Lhuillier Data Breach: The date of occurrence of the data breach was Jan 19, 2019. The attack was responsible for exposing sensitive information of Philippine based financial services company Cebuana Lhuillier. The confidential information included addresses, date of births of 900,000 customers. The email servers of the company also came under the attack. But, thankfully, the transaction details of customers were safe as the primary server did not come under the attack.
BlackRock Inc. Client Information Breach: BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest asset management company, suffered from a security breach on Jan 22, 2019. As a result of the attack, the company accidentally shared links of spreadsheets containing critical information of 20,000 clients on the shares ETF website. The information included the name, email addresses, and asset details of active clients. As a result of the security breach company lost its trust amongst the valuable clients and customers.
Form the above points; it’s quite clear that firms need to develop and manage security procedures and policies to prevent the loss of millions of dollars owing to a security breach. Any mature security program requires adequate security policies, documents, and procedures. Some of the effective security procedures firms can invest in include:
Acceptable Use Policy: By adopting an effective AUP policy, the firm will be in a better position to stipulate the constraints and practices that employees have to abide by. The AUP should be a standard onboarding policy that every new employee should accept and follow to prevent any security mishap. Top management should provide an AUP to new employees that they can read and sign. And, only after signing they should access the network. All the departments should be onboard while creating the AOP policy to ensure full cooperation from all ends.
Develop a changed management policy: By a changed management policy, we refer to making changes in the IT, software development, and security services/operations. The reason for developing a changed management policy is to increase the awareness and understanding of the proposed changes throughout the length and breadth of the organization.
Effective information security policy: An effective information security policy helps firms in covering a large number of security loopholes. With the high-level security policy, firms can ensure all employees who use information technology assets comply with the security norms and follow proper guidelines while using the information. The policy will help employees to recognize that they will be accountable for all the activities they perform. And if there is any security loophole owing to their mistakes, they will be held responsible. The policy will deal with sensitive corporate information and IT assets.
Remote access policy: Are you thinking what a remote access policy is? We are here to answer your question. It’s a document that states the acceptable methods for remotely accessing an internal organization network. The policy will also contain rules for using BYOD assets. The policy is a must for those firms that use dispersed networks across insecure network locations like a local coffee house or unsecured home networks.
Email/communication policy: With the help of email policy, firms give an outline to employees on how to use electronic medium within the organization. The policy must cover email, blogs, and social media and chat technologies. The policy aims to guide the employees on the acceptable and unacceptable use of corporate communication technology.
Disaster recovery policy: Firms’ disaster recovery plan must contain cybersecurity, and IT teams input. The policy should be a part of the larger business continuity plan. The CIOs and teams within the organization must be responsible for managing a disaster incident with the help of the policy. If the event is responsible for a significant business impact, team has to activate the business continuity plan to overcome the loss of data due to the incident.
Business continuity plan: In the event of a disaster, it’s the business continuity plan that uses the disaster recovery plan to reinstate hardware, applications, and data that is essential for business continuity. With the help of the BCP, firms will be able to describe what needs to be taken into account in case of an emergency.
Since data plays an essential role in the smooth functioning of the business, it’s essential for firms to develop innovative and effective data security procedures to protect their data at all times. Also, after developing security policies, firms have to update the employees about the same to avoid any confusion later.