Lessons Learned From the Biggest Data Breaches in 2019

Data breaches are, by now, part and parcel of daily life. This is especially true for businesses; cyber security protocol is now a must regardless of how big your company is or what industry you operate in.

Read below for some of the biggest hacks to hit this year, as well as lessons learned from each one.

Capital One: Restrict Access to Data

Capital One made headlines earlier this year as a data breach exposed thousands of credit card applications, bank account information, and social security numbers. Security Magazine emphasizes that this could have been prevented by implementing the principle of least privilege, whereby users are given access only to the files they absolutely need for their work. These stringent controls ensure that sensitive information is contained, thereby minimizing the chances of this information leaking out.

Exactis: Work With Cyber Security Professionals

Marketing firm Exactis left over 340 million user records on an unsecured server. This mistake was found by a data researcher, meaning it may have been easy pickings for an experienced hacker. The Exactis slip-up shows how crucial it is for corporations to seek professional help as needed. Digital marketing experts Ayima suggest that agencies should partner with SMEs to come up with security solutions rather than trying to come up with protocol on their own. Seeking professional help allows your company to establish a system that’s specific to you while also freeing your team up for all the day-to-day tasks.

Equifax: Create Stricter Protocols

As mentioned in our post on 2018’s data breaches, Equifax made the records of over 123 million households vulnerable due to a poor security protocol. While most software apps and cloud providers come with their own built-in encryption, it is best practice to add a ‘gated’ defence of access in which any potential hacker has to bypass multiple security fences to gain privileged access. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one such gate or fence that forces users to verify access to emails and/or applications prior to gaining access. Since many data breaches come from poor data management from employees, MFA can instantly boost your company’s security.

US Government IT contractor: Update Your Software

A federal defense contractor was compromised and its systems put up for sale on the cybercrime internet last month, spurring an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service. The contractor was hit with the Emotet malware, which has been touted as one of the deadliest malware in existence. Malware typically gets in through system vulnerabilities, which is why constant software updates are crucial. Although many see these constant updates as an irksome task to complete, the frequency of such updates allows your business’ systems to stay on top of continuously evolving cyber threats.

The biggest data breaches this year prove that security hacks evolve quickly, making it near impossible to predict what tactics hackers will use to infiltrate computer systems. That being said, arming yourself with a handful of best practices can minimize the damage done should a breach hit. It’s important to properly educate your employees before introducing new protocol in order for them to understand how even small steps can help secure their data and the data of their organization.

*This is a post written for storagemadeeasy.com by guest technology blogger Rita Julia.

For more information you can visit: storagemadeeasy.com/GDPR/ or watch this 10 minute demonstration video where our engineering manager, James Norman, walks you through how you can use the many different features of the Storage Made Easy File Fabric to protect your company’s data against cyber attacks:


*Why not try the Enterprise File Fabric? Download your free trial here.

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