Data Breaches: Are you on a Watch List?

In the last decade, billions of people have had their information stolen from one, if not multiple, business sectors. Technology is constantly expanding, and with new technology comes new ways of hacking into seemingly secure data. As technology advances, people tend to forget about outdated technology and are lackadaisical about cybersecurity

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Recent Attacks

In recent news, Staples experienced a data breach that exposed the information of some of their customer’s orders without authorization. Staples is not exactly sure what data has been accessed yet. They are referring to it as “non-sensitive customer order data.” 

An example of this data could include personal information like email address. They do not mean credit card numbers or social security numbers. Although that’s how this information is being labeled by Staples, the incident still has an impact on its reputation. 

Along with Staples, Equinix, a huge data center experienced a ransomware attack by the hacking group Netwalker. The data of it’s client’s has been encrypted and the hackers are asking for $4.5 million to restore it. Along with that they are threatening to expose the data and  increase the ransom to double if they do not respond timely. 

This attack alone should display how serious these attacks can get. Criminal activity doesn’t just happen in the physical world. 

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Other Causes

Outdated devices, human error, malware and theft are all things that contribute greatly to the possibility of a data breach. It’s important to ensure companies are well aware of all possible breaches in order to secure them. No business wants to face the PR nightmare other companies have.

Outdated devices and software increase risks of malware infections due to the fact that devices are susceptible to vulnerabilities that have yet to be patched. Often times, these patches don’t even occur because of a lack of memory or non-compatible OS software. 

Another issue that can occur when using outdated technology is not meeting the newest WIFI protocol standards. This means the device would not be receiving a secure connection, something hackers love to see. You make their job so much easier that way.

This list would be incredibly inaccurate if human error wasn’t on it. Human error is a huge reason data breaches occur. It’s not new information that humans are flawed and often let things slip through the cracks. Majority of the time, these errors are not made on purpose and are simply an accident. 

However, that doesn’t excuse them from potentially wrecking a business. Some examples of these missteps are using weak passwords, falling for phishing scams and sending sensitive information to the wrong recipient. 

Physical and identity theft are always risks as well. Whether it is an employee or a stranger, depending on the data stolen, the effect can be detrimental to a business. Especially if there is no backup data recovery set in place, important data could be lost forever. This vulnerability is hard to predict due to the opportunistic nature, but keeping important items secured at all times can reduce these opportunities.

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Malware

Malware breaches are easy to get caught up with if you don’t know what you’re looking at. An anti-virus will help patch vulnerabilities in your device but other forms of malware may not be as obvious. Plus, as mentioned before, with new technology, comes new ways to hack your data. For example, a packer is a type of malware that could hide from your antivirus because of the coding that compresses it. 

A crypter creates altered, and infected, copies of a program. As soon as it’s clicked on, it begins to decrypt. Polymorphic malware is malware that repeatedly uses packing and crypting methods to change the way it looks. Then finally there are many kinds of malware staging programs called droppers or downloaders which first learn about the system and then proceed to infect with the real malware.

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How can I Protect Myself?: Managed Security 

You should never cut corners when it comes to sensitive data and data protection. As a provider of managed security we offer a number of solutions that will prevent your business from dealing with a breach. As mentioned previously, human error is a huge contributor to data breaches. security awareness training is a solution that will educate your team to prepare them for cyberattacks

This kind of solution sends fake phishing emails to your company members with personalized landing pages in the event that the team member clicks or downloads something malicious. They will also continue to be tested until they are successful. This is a great form of education and action. 

Another vulnerability mentioned is a weak password. A Managed Service Provider (MSP) can help you implement a password manager and other policies. These require your team to both use strong passwords and change them frequently. 

In addition to security awareness training there are other solutions that can help you avoid a security breach. They will protect both professional and public data. 

One example is data security. The right managed security  solution with include patching, firmware upgrades, anti-virus, anti-malware, and email security. That alone is not enough though. Advanced Endpoint Protection, Hard Disk Destruction, and Mobile Device Management are only a few of the services we offer. 

At this point with so many companies using a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, Mobile Device Management has become a necessity. Every employee on a  team has at least one device. Each of these devices operates as its own infrastructure to manage. The  right provider will provide real time monitoring and management and keep your information secure without  you having to be concerned. 

Are you ready to take your security to the next level? Contact The TNS Group today to get started.