Data breaches are expensive. A company that suffers a data breach will spend about $4 million to recover lost information and shore up their defenses. Data breaches cost more than money. A company’s reputation is often at stake after such an occurrence.
What can cybersecurity do to detect and prevent these costly attacks? When implemented correctly, it can reduce the likelihood of an attack by a great margin. These data breaches that occurred in 2019 emphasize the need for cybersecurity frameworks.
10 Publicly Disclosed Data Breaches That Occurred In 2019
- Blur – this company offers password management and protection service. Ironically, one of its servers was left unsecured, exposing the names, password hints, IP and email addresses of 2.4 million users
- Fortnite – this popular game has over 200 million users. Cybercriminals could use multiple vulnerabilities in the game’s online platform to view players’ personal information and eavesdrop on their conversations
- Alaska Department of Health & Social Services – cybercriminals attacked the Alaskan division of public assistance and got access to the identities of 100,000 people who had applied for government assistance
- Dunkin’ Donuts – hackers gained access to the popular company’s accounts related to members of the DD Perks awards. They proceeded to sell the awards on the dark web. The breach was enabled by credential stuffing.
- Facebook – a security vulnerability on Facebook’s platform gave hackers access to about 50 million accounts. This hack was enabled by access tokens, which allow users to stay logged in on their devices. Due to the hack, affected users had to log in to their accounts afresh.
- Whatsapp – hackers exploited the messaging app’s voice call feature to install surveillance software on users’ phones. The breach affected 1.5 billion users from all over the world. The spyware had access to users’ microphone, camera, email, and messages.
- Instagram – a database containing the contact information of 49 million users was left exposed. The majority of the information was that of influencers, celebrities, and corporate accounts.
- Quest Diagnostics – financial information and social security numbers of 12 million patients were exposed in a data breach. Hackers gained access to the payment portal of one of the company’s vendors.
- Los Angeles County Department of Health Services – due to a phishing attack on a contractor for this department, personal information for about 15,000 patients were exposed.
- DoorDash – a third party vendor for this food delivery service was hacked, revealing contact details of about 4.9 million users of the platform.
How Cybersecurity Frameworks Can Work to Prevent Data Breaches
Cyber attacks are becoming frequent and sophisticated. You may be able to identify one attack and miss the next one. A solid cybersecurity framework deals with data breaches comprehensively. It does so by:
- Securing passwords
This is the most basic form of protection. Cybersecurity knowledge will prevent criminals from gaining entry and changing passwords. It requires that you use unique, unpredictable passwords. You will also enable two-factor authentication on all platforms.
- Creating backups
Having a backup of important data on an external hard drive mitigates the loss that often comes with a data breach.
- Securing wireless networks
Whether at home or your business, wireless networks can be hacked. Setting strong passwords is one way of keeping cybercriminals away from these networks. Wi-Fi networks should be encrypted, secured, and hidden.
In order to safely hide your network, you should set up a router. This ensures your SSID is not broadcast.
- Designing computer-based systems that meet security needs
All systems in an organization should meet the basic cybersecurity requirements. They should be safe from unauthorized access and have the ability to send alerts when suspicious activity is detected
- Analyzing systems for risks
Developing and implementing a monitoring strategy ensures that any potential breaches are detected early. The strategy should combine technical and transactional risk analysis
- Developing cybersecurity policies that are relevant and sufficient for organizational needs
You should have adequate policies to manage cyber risks and react appropriately to breaches. These policies should be communicated to the entire organization, as everyone has a role to play as far as cybersecurity is concerned.
Your cybersecurity policy should be reviewed for efficiency from time to time. A report indicating attempted breaches and mitigation is necessary to determine whether the policy is actually effective or whether it requires adjustments.
Organizations have plenty to lose in case of a cyber breach. Not only do they lose business but also their reputation adversely affected by such incidents. With the number of breaches increasing in number and sophistication, a solid cybersecurity framework is needed.
A cybersecurity framework comprehensively deals with issues of password creating, user authentication, system analysis for risk, and development of policies that mitigate potential breaches. A consistent review of this framework ensures systems are constantly secured against cybercrime.
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