In the past, Yahoo, Target, and Verizon breaches have been labelled some of the most detrimental security breaches on record.
However, 2017 has several that can match these scares, showing that while we may be more tech savvy, we still have a lot to learn and much to protect as IoT grows and we become more dependent on technology.
Read on to learn 3 of the worst cybersecurity breaches in 2017, plus how you can protect your business, and why you should consider cyber security services Detroit.
1. WannaCry Ransomware Attack
As reported by CNet, infamous ransomware attack, WannaCry, took down several international and national companies.
By “several,” we mean that at least 200,000 computers (if not more) were infected across 150 countries.
Businesses affected by WannaCry span from hospitals and banks to warehouses and other companies, with UK healthcare being the first major service targeted and hit by the WannaCry hackers.
What You Can Do
Ransomware attacks are hard to stop. Once the computer is infected, it’s infected. This means that the virus has scrambled up data, making it nearly impossible to access certain files.
Ransomware hackers may demand payment in return to handing over the stolen files. While this may seem like a good option to take, know that this action shows you are a willing participant in a ransomware scheme.
You don’t know if the hackers will actually give up the stolen files and, if they do, you can bet they’ll come back around for more.
Instead, report the ransomware attack to authorities—immediately. In the meantime, don’t click on suspicious links, accept social media requests from suspicious individuals, and identify network vulnerabilities that could expose your company.
This is perhaps the most recent (and brutal) cybersecurity breach. Equifax, one of the largest credit businesses in the US, admitted to having an application vulnerability that exposed roughly 143 million customers to identity theft.
Personal information such as birth dates, addresses, social security numbers, and even driver’s licenses were exposed. The breach was said to have started in mid-May but wasn’t found out until three months ago in July 2017.
What You Can Do
Conduct regular pen testing to identify vulnerabilities. White hackers are invaluable, as they can offer an outside perspective of what isn’t working for your business.
At the same time, you can give employees a chance to practice the cyber skills they have learned and identify areas that need work.
3. Mid-Michigan Physicians Imaging Center
While WannaCry and Equifax affected more people, Mid-Michigan Physicians Imaging Center breach highlights the detrimental effects of not complying with HIPAA.
According to Healthcare IT News, the breach started in March 2017 but was not reported until 5 months later. This, of course, goes against the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards and breaches compliance.
Supposedly, the breach affected 106,000 (former and current) patient records. Information like patient names, birth dates, addresses, social security numbers, phone numbers, diagnoses, and medical records numbers were exposed.
While Mid-Michigan Physicians Imaging Center, as reported by Healthcare IT News, has stated it has rebuilt its computer systems, the fact that it bypassed HIPAA regulations is concerning.
What You Can Do
Especially if you are a part of the healthcare sector, it is mandatory that you comply with HIPAA. Not doing so can subject you to legal and reputational repercussions, not to mention a loss in revenue.
If your network is breached, it is important that patients know immediately that their personal information could have been hacked. That way, they can take the necessary steps in canceling credit cards, calling banks etc. to mitigate further damage.
WannaCry, Equifax, and Mid-Michigan Physicians Imaging Center show that any business can be targeted. Hackers will continue to infect businesses because they have something to gain—money, fame, revenge…
While we can’t prevent hackers from trying to infect networks, we can make it harder for them to be successful. By taking proactive steps via informing employees on cyber hygiene, updating networks, and investing in pen testing, you can reduce the chances of being one more statistic. What have you done to bolster your cyber defenses?