Robinhood, a popular stock trading and investment company in the US, recently informed the public of a cybersecurity incident that put 7 million users’ emails in the hands of experienced hackers.
Namely, a hacker named “pompompurin” is responsible for this unexpected data breach that resulted in the theft of 7 million email addresses, along with the full names of 2 million Robinhood users.
The investment company disclosed that the intruder also stole the dates of birth and zip codes of 300 people and even gained access to more sensitive information on 10 other users, including identification photos needed for the company’s KYC or Know Your Customer procedure.
Two days after the attack, the individual named “pompompurin” put the stolen “goods” up for sale on a popular hacking forum. They requested $10 000 or more for the emails of 7 million Robinhood users. Most hackers will consider this a bargain, given that user emails from financial services companies are good targets for phishing attacks.
The question is, how did this happen? After studying the incident, Robinhood revealed that the hacker breached a device of one of their customer support employees by tricking them into installing malicious software. This piece of software recorded all activities even while the employee was working, which is how the hacker was able to pull such a large amount of data from the system.
How Can an Organization Protect Itself from Hackers
The question we’re left with is how an organization can protect itself from similar incidents?
#1 Educate Your Employees
The most important step for companies is to educate their employees on the significance of cybersecurity in today’s digital world. The reason why Robinhood suffered such a cybersecurity blow was not a faulty system or a technical error. One of their employees made a mistake because they weren’t aware of the danger of installing unknown or unverified software. Companies will have to educate their employees on the importance of cybersecurity awareness and safety measures.
#2 Use a VPN and Other Security Tools
The next step after increasing the amount of time spent on cybersecurity education is to incorporate security tools within the entire organization. These tools include antivirus software, firewall setups, and, most importantly, virtual private networks. A VPN for Mac or Windows devices can take your company’s cybersecurity a long way since it allows employees to stay off the hackers’ radars. Consider investing in a Mac VPN as one of the best ways to keep the company’s devices safe and encourage your employees to do the same.
#3 Hire an Expert
Last but not least, it wouldn’t hurt to invest a bit of money into strengthening your cybersecurity system. The best way you can do so is by hiring an expert to evaluate the company’s security systems and help set up new ones that could prevent incidents similar to the one that happened recently at Robinhood.
Putting more emphasis on cybersecurity within a larger corporation is a must, especially when hackers constantly find new ways around various security systems. With that said, make sure to educate your employees on the potential cybersecurity threats they could come across both on their personal and work devices. The Robinhood incident can serve as a good example of what can happen if only one employee fails to recognize a potential security threat.