By having a look at the recent data breaches, you can understand the impact of data breaches on the companies. Several data breaches have occurred in the past year and have affected the companies extremely.
Data breaches involve the concept of hacking into a big network to steal confidential information by a hacker. The criminal accesses the network in an unauthorised way to gain the sensitive data for personal gain.
There is no company which is invulnerable to a data breach. You need to have an understanding of how data breaches occur, what are the most common types of data breaches, and how can you avoid data breaches.
Some of the major recent data breaches are discussed below:
University of Central Florida
The university fell for a data breach in February 2016 when cyber criminals hacked into the university’s computer system and stole personal information of the students and employees. This data breach affected approximately 63,000 current and former students and employees.
Internal Revenue Service
A Russian company breached the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to file fraudulent tax returns in May 2015. The company stole the personal information of over 700,000 American taxpayers by hacking into the “Get Transcript” system of the IRS.
University of California, Berkeley
In December 2015, the financial information of more than 80,000 former & current students and employees of the university was compromised.
Several attackers tricked an employee of Snapchat into e-mailing them the private data of the company by posing as chief executive of Snapchat in March 2016. Several current and former employees of Snapchat had their personal information stolen in this identity theft scam.
21st Century Oncology
In October 2015, 21st Century Oncology which is a Fort Myers-based company offering cancer care services became a victim of data breach. In this data breach, the personal information of almost 2.2 million patients was compromised.
The sensitive data of more than 200,000 patients was compromised when Premier Healthcare which is a multispecialty provider healthcare group fell for a data breach in March 2016. The breach happened due to a lost laptop from the billing department of their head branch. As the laptop was not encrypted, so it was possible for the hackers to hack into the system.
Tidewater Community College
Tidewater Community College (TCC) based in Norfolk, Virginia had its personal data stolen in a phishing scam in March 2016. The information of several current and former employees of the college was lost in this scam. An attacker sent an email to an employee in the college’s finance department from a fake TCC e-mail address asking for all employees’ W-2 information. The employee didn’t realize that the email was fake and sent the personal information of the employees.
Philippine Commission on Elections
When the Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC) fell for a data breach, it lost the information of approximately 55 million people. It is assumed that every single voter in the Philippines was affected by the data breach.
Multiple Major E-mail Providers
A major data breach included stealing of 270 million e-mail usernames and passwords in May 2016. Several major E-mail providers were affected by this. A Milwaukee-based company named Hold Security discovered that the stolen usernames and passwords were given away for free in the Russian criminal underground.
FACC which is an aerospace parts manufacturer based in Austria fell victim to a data breach in January 2016. The hackers stole approximately €50 million (which is equivalent to about $54.5 million U.S. dollars).
Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Even a company providing data breach assistance to government agencies and companies itself fell for a data breach. Verizon Enterprise Solutions is a division of Verizon and it is a well-known company for providing IT services and data breach assistance to companies all around the world. The information of around 1.5 million customers was stolen in this breach of data.
U.S. Department of Justice
The attackers did not even leave the U.S. Department of Justice. Some hackers who were angry about the U.S. relations wanted to raise their voice by hacking into the database of the U.S. Department of Justice. They stole the information of about 30,000 employees of the FBI and Homeland Security Department.
With this horrifying situation of data breaches, it is noted that each and every company and organization should be very serious in adopting the security measures to secure the sensitive data of the company. Traditional security is not sufficient to prevent data breaches. Modern security measures need to be adopted to protect companies from this crime.