Posts tagged "Data Breach"
What’s the Anthem breach?
- More than 80 million patient records were stolen out of Anthem’s servers.
- If you are an Anthem, Blue Cross or Blue Shield customer, now or in the past, you are probably affected by the breach.
- The data stolen by cyber thieves included Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, email addresses and employment information.
- Not included in the breach (or at least disclosed as being part) were credit card numbers or medical data.
Why is the Anthem breach so serious?
- When breach includes so much data on each victim, especially your Social Security number, it makes it fairly easy for cyber criminals and identity thieves to create new accounts in your name or takeover existing financial accounts. In other words, they can bank as you, borrow as you and pose as you in order to financially exploit you.
Home Depot Data Breach Exposes Our Growing Complacency
When Target suffered a data breach back in December of 2013, you couldn’t look at a news source without seeing a new story about it. Yet when the Home Depot data breach was revealed recently, it received almost a ho-hum reception in the news. This, even though, it was the biggest data breach in retailing history and has compromised 56 million of its customers’ credit cards! It seems we have come to expect these data breaches to the point where we have become almost complacent.
Consumers, like the companies that breach our data, have become apocalyptic zombies, staring unquestioningly forward as we are attacked from all sides.
When JP Morgan was recently asked about reported cyber attacks, their spokesperson replied that they were “closely safeguarding information and would notify anyone affected” and went on to add that companies of its size experience cyber attacks “nearly every day”. It seems a rather casual reply for an event that may have resulted in the theft of multiple gigabytes of sensitive data!
Yet that is the reality today. In fact, the financial industry, and most of the business world, has been described as being in a state of almost perpetual cybersiege. Cyber attacks have become so commonplace that most businesses have almost come to expect it.
Which is why we have stopped paying attention, because breach is so normal. And breach is so normal because corporations don’t train their employees correctly on how to avoid it.
Data Breach Expert Alert: The restaurant chain P.F. Chang’s China Bistro has reported a security breach that may have led to the theft of customer data from credit and debit cards used at 33 restaurants. In addition to stolen card numbers, the intruder may have gotten names and expiration dates as well. The breach took place between October 19th of 2013 and June 11th of 2014 and supposedly has affected 33 locations.
If P.F. Changs follows in the footsteps of the recent Target breach, you can expect an expanding number of stores and customers affected over the coming days. It seems that the data breach playbook suggests that companies initially under-report the severity of the security lapse in order to keep customer shock and defection to a minimum. Once the news cycle has worn out the topic (generally 3-5 days), the breached company generally issues news on additional stores affected, customer data lost, increases in the actual data affected, etc. Let’s hope P.F. Chang’s does a better job of communicating damage the first time.
It’s no surprise that identity theft once again tops the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams put forth by the IRS for 2014. They warn that if an identity thief has access to your personal information, such as your name, Social Security number or other identifying information, he or she may use it to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund in your name. Think of the implications for the 110 million victims of the recent Target data breach as well as victims of the hundreds of other breaches at other retailers, universities, healthcare providers, government agencies and so on.
KrebsOnSecurity reports that the information from the Target breach alone has reportedly flooded underground black markets and cards are being sold from around $20 to more than $100 each. This data is being sold in hundreds of online “stores” advertised in cybercrime forums. A fraud analyst at a major bank was able to buy a portion of the bank’s accounts from such a store.
Universities perfect learning environment for data security
Higher Ed Organizations are among the highest risk groups to become victims of identity theft and data breach. Because students are relative “beginners” when it comes to personal finances, because university environments are predicated on trust and credibility, and because of the recent progress towards a mobile-centric, social-networking-dominated campus, higher education’s digital footprint is constantly exposed to manipulation.
“The most engaging speaker I’ve ever heard – period.” Debbie Bumpous, NSU Chief Information Technology Officer speaking about John Sileo
“John Sileo was the secret sauce in launching our cyber security awareness program” – University of Massachusetts Director of IT
Identity Theft: involves the misuse of another individual’s personal identifiable information for fraudulent purposes.
- Identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in the U.S., affecting 1 in 20 consumers.
Medical Identity Theft: occurs when someone uses an individual’s name and personal identity to fraudulently receive medical services, prescription drugs or goods, including attempts to commit fraudulent billing.
- Medical identity theft affected 2 million people in the U.S. in 2011.
Data Breach: a security incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or used by an unauthorized individual. Data Breaches may involve:
- Credit card numbers
- Personally identifiable information
- Protected health information
- Social Security Number
- Trade secrets
- Intellectual property
Who/What’s at Stake?
An identity is stolen every 3 seconds!
- 5 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2003.
I finally got around to watching the latest 007 installment, Skyfall, and it appears even James Bond has entered into the world of Cyber Crime as he tries to protect a computer drive with a list of British agents from falling into the wrong hands. And like the proverbial victims in a James Bond flick, you and your business data are under assault, even though it may not always be as obvious as getting thrown off a train. Why? Because your business data is profitable to would-be thieves. And for many of those thieves, that data is easy to get and the theft can be next to impossible to trace.
Sony PlayStation Network, Citigroup, Lockheed and several others have seen more than 100 million customer records breached, costing billions in recovery costs and reputation damage. If it can happen to the big boys, it can happen to you. If you don’t have Bond on your side fighting off the villains, take these steps to take to secure your business data:
Online reputation services have a special responsibility to keep clients safe. How can you protect yourself when the very company you rely on is breached?
Would you trust a site with your personal information after it suffered a breach? What if that site’s sole purpose is to protect your reputation?
helps its members maintain a reputable online profile, but the site’s own profile was damaged by a recent data breach that led to the exposure of customer information. Although no Social Security numbers or financial information was lost, names, email addresses, and physical addresses were exposed. It’s been reported that some dates of birth, phone numbers, and occupational information were also lost. A “small minority” of customer accounts had hashed and salted passwords stolen.
Hashing’ passwords is the process of using algorithms to change customers’ passwords to a unique data string. The ‘salt’ adds more characters to produce a unique data fingerprint. The company has notified all customers of the breach and reset passwords to protect them. But Reputation.com
is not alone in being hacked recently. LivingSocial, a daily-deal website, was breached, affecting 50 million customers.
Maintaining our online reputation is important to us and the internet, social media and mobile technology are great tools that give us a competitive advantage. However, we cannot ever take our online privacy
for granted. Three tips to keep you ahead of identity theft are:
- Use a password protection program that makes it easy to use highly-encrypted passwords