A 2015 attack on a major broadband provider in the UK exposed the personal information and bank details of 4 million subscribers. Included in the pilfered information were names, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, email addresses, and credit card numbers—basically every piece of information that identifies you as you. They lost 9,000 broadband customers in June 2016, and 23,000 TV customers. Overall, profits plunged 56% because they didn’t keep customer information secure.
In May 2016, a spear phishing email targeting a specific employee of a leading Korean online shopping mall spread malware throughout the company’s network servers, leaking the data of 10 million customers. The company was subsequently fined 3.8 million for poor management of customer personal information.
Also in 2016, one of the largest data breaches to date was exposed when a popular search engine and email provider revealed that in 2013, 1 billion user accounts were hacked—separate from the same company’s data breach in 2014 affecting 500 million customers that also came to light in 2016. Amongst a slew of other data, these breaches compromised password security for personal accounts, giving us all a lesson on the dangers of reusing passwords for more than one account.
Whether it’s email, online banking, or even a shopping website—once a cyber criminal has one of your passwords, or has found their way into you company’s data through email, it’s easy for them to hack your other accounts.
These examples of cyber crime and data breaches are inevitably going to be aimed at your company—or maybe they already have been. Bad actors are becoming more sophisticated by the day, but there are steps you can take to thwart these attacks and protect your data from prying eyes.
Now is the time—in 2017—to get secure before these threats become a reality.
Employees should attend regular training to learn about cyber security best practices—including how to detect and avoid phishing, company asset security, and password security. They are the first line of defense in avoiding a massive data breach that can cost you vast amounts of money to recover from, and may even cost you customers. Make sure your employees are armed with the information they need to make the right decisions.