Large Scale Data Breaches: The Real Threat at the Moment!
It seems that large scale data breaches are the flavors of the season! And, this is tempting more and more cyber crooks to devise plans to attack users at an even more massive expanse. Despite strong security checks in place and constant monitoring of things, large scale compromises are becoming more frequent than ever.
Although it comes across as a natural progression for cyber criminals – graduating from targeting individual users to targeting millions in one go – in reality, this isn’t so simple.
Firstly, it isn’t so much about the number of victims that each attack targets, it is more about who they are attacking and for what purpose. If you analyze different large scale data hack instances, you will find that although there’s a staggering growth in the number of victims, the method of leak and the genre or the industry to which the targeted businesses belong to have also changed over time. While it was earlier more about the users not taking enough care of their digital data, today it is not so anymore. With robust security checks in place that big corporations have invested in and impeccably put in place, how are these penetrations so easily taking place? Is it about the sophisticated tools or other modus operandi that the hackers are using to compromise the data that is responsible? Or, has there been a lag on the part of the corporations themselves?
Here’re a few key findings that we have compiled for you. Some of them are real eye openers…
- Financial institutions, healthcare organizations and tech companies – no sector is safe and 100% secured.
- A few media companies have also had to bear the brunt of large scale data hacks.
- Others include financial, web-based companies and technology giants as well.
- So, there isn’t a safe zone out there in the World Wide Web.
- Data breaches cost more bucks than thought of earlier; over $3.8 million is the cost of an instance (source: IBM study) and this amount is rising at a never before rate.
- Most of the data hacks have been conducted by external agents – not anyone from within the system.
- Nonetheless, 76% of the data was stolen from servers.
- Some of the latest large scale hacks include the breaches at the Office of Personnel Management, Anthem, Ashley Madison, Premera and IRS.
- The risks surrounding these hacks include misused identities, legal and regulatory complications, financial loss, being blackmailed due to past history, and so on.
As you can see, your data isn’t safe anywhere… like nowhere. You never know the sensitive data that you shared while filling out a random form could actually land you into trouble. So, don’t become a victim yourself and worry over the stolen data and seek answers to the biggest mystery as to how the sensitive information would be manipulated and (mis)used by the hackers. So, what do you do?
- Encrypt all your data.
- Share only as much information as needed; you are your own judge – so, watch out before you share.
- Remember to destroy all sensitive data you no longer need.
- Remain updated on the newer security rules and breaches so as to keep yourself abreast of all that’s happening.
Enterprises too can ensure the above and put in place stringent rules to guard their customers’ data and prevent leakage. However, going by the recent trend, large scale data hacks will not stop anytime soon and unless authorities take precautionary measures to ensure that the sensitive public data is safe, it will be tough for enterprises to prevent these hacks.
Here’s a data hack chart prepared by Statista that shows the number of affected users in some of the recent large scale breaches…
Image credit: Statista