5 Unbelievable Data Leak Horror Stories And Why You Should Amp Your Data Security Today

Over the years, we’ve heard many stories regarding data leaks affecting many companies in various industries all over the world. Sadly, the number of incidents of security breaches and data leaks are increasing and a lot of companies still can’t seem to catch up to the perpetrators.
Many of us would like to think that big enterprises have security systems in place that will safeguard all of their important data, including those of their customers. Unfortunately, even the biggest companies also fall prey to cyberattacks, such as the following:

1. Anthem’s 80 million customer info got hacked

Earlier this year, Anthem, the second largest health insurer in the US, confirmed that hackers had stolen personal information of around 80 million of their customers. This includes customer addresses, birthdays, medical identification numbers, social security numbers as well as information about the income of both current and former customers.
This hack affected Anthem brands including Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink, and DeCare.

2. Sony Playstation user accounts compromised

In 2011, the PlayStation Network reported that certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information were compromised. Though Sony said there was no evidence that credit card data were taken, it couldn’t be ruled out. They believe that customers’ names, address, country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login and handle/PSN online ID, as well as their purchase history may have been obtained.
Initially, reports said that only the personal information of 78 million PlayStation Network users were exposed but this number rose by 24.6 million after investigators found that SOE and Qriocity were also penetrated. Sony estimated cleanup costs of $171 million because of the incident.

3. JP Morgan Chase’s data breach and phishing attacks

In 2014, JP Morgan Chase reported that a data breach occurred during June and July that compromised personal information of approximately 76 million households and 7 million small businesses. The compromised information include their names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Those affected were customers who have used the company’s web or mobile services including Chase.com, JPMorganOnline, Chase Mobile or JPMorgan Mobile.
Although the company reportedly did not see unusual fraud activity related to the incident, there were significant phishing attacks launched against their customers by August.

4. Target’s massive data hack amounting to $3.6 billion

The Target data leak is reportedly one of the most massive attacks in recent history wherein hackers infected the company’s payment-card readers, making off with 40 million credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, the three-digit CVV security code and PIN data for 40 million account holders in December 2013.
Just a month after the announcement was made, they reported that the attack was worse than they thought. They discovered that the contact information, such as full names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers of 70 million of their customers were also compromised. It has been reported that Target may be liable for up to $3.6 billion as a result.

5. Ashley Madison controversial leak that ruined families

The Ashley Madison attack is one of the most controversial data breaches this year just for the fact that the site is used by cheating husbands and wives looking for an affair. The attackers, known as the Impact Team, reported that they have the information of nearly 40 million users at the time of the breach.
In August, they made good with their promise to release the information and posted them online. The data released included names, passwords, addresses, phone numbers as well as some information on descriptions of what members were seeking in potential partners. While obviously a big predicament for Ashley Madison, this data leak presented more serious problems for its users having already ruined many lives, marriages and families.

Whew.

If these can happen to big enterprises, it can happen to you too.
These incidents reflect how much damage security breaches can cost not only to your business but to your customers as well. The more unprepared your company is, the higher the impact of the breach.
The scary fact is that most companies take days, weeks or even months to discover the attacks. The key then is to ensure that you take action now in order to prevent these cases from happening.
Recently, Verizon released the 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report, which classified almost 80,000 security incidents this year. The report reveals that cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated, 70 percent of which actually use a combination of decades-old techniques and involving secondary victims as well.
It also revealed that nine basic patterns make up 96% percent of security incidents, the top three being point-of-sale intrusions, crimeware and cyber-espionage. The report also shares three key learnings: 1) attacks happen fast (38% compromised systems in seconds, 38% took days to contain), 2) most hacks can be prevented and 3) knowledge is a powerful weapon.
These findings show that by learning all that they can about security breaches, companies can protect themselves better. The report provides detailed information and improvement recommendations that companies can implement in order to prevent such cyberattacks from happening.
Act now and amp your data security before it’s too late.
To know more about the above incidences, refer to the following:

Image from IBN Live.

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Toni Forder
Toni Forder

Anthony Forder manages a broad range of clients and services, and continues to ensure his business clients are advantaged by his IT awareness and account management skills. Anthony Forder’s first job was to work as a Junior MainFrame Computer Operator for a major bank in the early 1908s After several years Anthony moved on to leading the same Computer team for the Bank. He then moved to a SME IT Consultancy Organisation as a Senior IT Consultant, he has consulted for many World Brand Name Companies, including Healthcare, Manufacturing and Financial Organisation Anthony is now one of transcosmos Global Account Managers for Infrastructure and End User Support Solutions.

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