2015: A year of business breaches

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We’ve seen a large number of business’ suffer breaches this year. How can business stay ahead and avoid breaches?

We’re moving headlong into the festive season and that means we get all retrospective and look back at the year.

Unfortunately when we look back on 2015 we see a large number of businesses that have fallen foul of hackers and their customers have suffered for it.

We saw TalkTalk very publically get hacked recently, Ashley Madison earlier in the year stole headlines for over a fortnight and Carphone Warehouse also suffered.

Mark James, ESET IT security specialist, offers advice for any and all businesses whether they are victims of a recent breach or just want to stay one step ahead of insidious hackers.


Becoming desensitised


To a certain degree it’s easy to become desensitised to the myriad of data breaches we’ve seen this year: numbers like 100,000 even 1 million pale in comparison to the 35 million accounts we saw from Ashley Madison.

Mark however is keen to emphasise that we can’t allow ourselves to ignore smaller breaches just because they don’t breach any records or make headlines.

“With so much cybercrime going on these days it’s easy to become very blasé about another data breach unless it breaks the already incredibly huge numbers we are seeing banded around for the amount of records breached from high profile companies.

“We have to understand that our data however large or small needs to be kept safe. With so much of our data in the cloud the criminals are finding it easier and easier to piece it all together to make very complete portfolios of our data for use in identity theft or targeted attacks.

“This data is being used in all manner of scams that enable criminals to harvest hundreds of thousands of pounds from many businesses up and down the country to be fleeced and then used for other criminal activities.”


How can businesses stay one step ahead?


The unfortunate silver lining to all of these businesses being breached is that you and your business can see it as a learning opportunity.

How were they breached? Were they specifically targeted or did the hackers get ‘lucky’ with a phishing email? Where were the company’s weaknesses?

Asking questions, finding the answers and then applying what you learn to your business could mean the difference between preventing a breach and losing a substantial amount of money.

“I know it’s a word that gets banded around a lot but I believe education can help very much in the fight against cybercrime.

“If your organisation has the resources to target the latest threats; the knowledge and understanding of how they have been successful elsewhere; how to stop them from being successful in your organisation you will have a great advantage.

“However, you can’t stop every attack: understanding your weaknesses, ensuring your software is up to date, your company having the processes in place to be notified quickly and efficiently if something goes wrong and/or flag early warning signs may well be the difference in keeping your data private and the attackers at bay.”

Have you incorporated anything you’ve learned in a breach

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