Source: ELEVENEWS

Data Breaches in 2019 and What We Can Learn From Them

This is one of the essential things that is taught to us since childhood. Learning from mistakes, be it your mistakes or others’ mistakes. Each mistake that you commit or see must be followed by a lesson that can be carried forward and kept in mind for the future.

2019 saw some major Security breaches, ones that can be learned from, to prevent such incidents from taking place in the future.

Here is a concise listing of the top “what went wrong” in 2019.

Collection #1 data breach

Source: Computerworld

The year began with a data breach in January 2019, brought to light by Troy Hunt, a security researcher who came across a database containing about a billion emails and passwords of users. This database by the name MEGA contained a folder “Collection #1” with credentials that were leaked and uploaded online on various hacking forums. The passwords could be used to cause cyber devastation as the hackers had already acquired the hashing of exposed passwords.

Password leak at Facebook

Source: CPO Magazine

In March, during review related to security checks taking place on Facebook, it was discovered that the passwords of about 600 million Facebook users had been stored in the form of simple plain text since the year 2012. These passwords were on storage systems easily accessible to the Facebook developers as well as employees. Facebook made a public statement regarding this, ensuring notification to all affected users so that they can change their passwords as a precaution.

Breach at Verifications.io

Source: Identity Theft Resource Center

A database that contained about 982 million email ids was breached, leading to one of the most significant email database breaches to have ever occurred. The company used to send emails to various ids to verify their validity, but with inadequate security practices for the protection of the huge amount of email addresses that it possessed.

Breach at Wipro

Source: CSO Online

KrebsOnSecurity.com has been informed about the Wipro data breach from two reliable sources of a company. Hackers were using Wipro systems as jumping-off points for phishing expeditions targeting customers’ systems.

Breach at Dunkin’ Donuts

Source: ABC News

Hackers were successful in breaching Dunkin’ Donuts in early January month of 2019. The company reported about account breaches where hackers leveraged credentials of repeated customers to enter Dunkin’ Donuts perks reward accounts. The leveraged accounts were providing reward points to returning customers and get free discounts.

Data breaches, cybersecurity breaches that took place in 2019 were an eye-opener to loopholes that can be used by hackers to their advantage, and it is essential to take these incidents as learnings and steppingstones towards more secure cyberspace for data existing online.

Safeguarding data using SSL

Source: SSL.com

SSL is one of the best ways of protecting data as it travels between the server and the browsers through various data networks. It provides a safe method to communicate data. Among all the different SSL certificate providers available, SSL2BUY is the fastest and one of the most cost-effective SSL providers for any online business for protecting their customers’ financial transactions.

Ensuring Up to Date computers

Source: The Mail

Sometimes basics are what is easily overlooked. It is an absolute must to have machines and computers with software that are up to date, and the latest installed plugins. The software which is not up to date can contain loopholes and security vulnerabilities, providing hackers a window to take advantage of, to execute a data breach.

Well informed and aware employees

Source: Glassdoor

Employees, who have complete awareness about the lurking cyber crooks and the importance of cybersecurity, are a boon in any company, big or small. Human error may lead to vulnerabilities leading to data leaks and security breaches. So, it is essential to have specific internal policies in place with strict implementation to maintain security standards in the functioning and data handling of a company. Employees must know whom to contact in case of an emergency regarding data security and the first course of action in case of any untoward incident.

Optimizing the use of cloud services

Source: Cuelogic

Cloud is a technology that can be used to ensure that sensitive data of the company is not stored locally on any machine in the company but stored on a cloud instead with greater security. It may burn a hole in the company’s pocket, but the investment is long term and worth it with an increasing number of data breach incidents. On the other hand, be sure to associate with cloud service providers who are reputed and provide high-quality security to the stored data. It keeps away from the prying eyes of hackers and goons ready to use even one vulnerability they come across to their advantage and carry out a data breach.

Realize the importance of strong passwords

Source: PYMNTS.com

Yet another fundamental but essential aspect of data security in a company is a strong password. Strong password selection must be taken very seriously. Specific rules for passwords must be set, including the minimum number of characters, the use of alphabets, numbers, special characters. Passwords must be changed after regular intervals of time, for example, once every three months to enhance security.

Take the help of a Security Expert

Source: Excel Education

Cybersecurity is a huge concern and can cause havoc if not handled timely by an experienced and knowledgeable person, team, or firm. In case of a data breach, be sure to consult professional help to ensure that the security of your data is in the right hands. Irresponsible handling of data breach incidents can worsen the situation further, leading to loss, which may be irreparable.

Conclusion:

Analyzing mistakes, understanding patterns, and using them to improve the future is an art and gaining expertise in that is key to a better the year 2020. So be sure to keep in mind all that went wrong and how such mistakes can be improved in the next year. Here’s hoping this year has a lesser number of data breach cases, as low as possible. Let us welcome the new year with highly secure data transmission and storage!

About Thomas Losh

Thomas Losh