This past year has seen a huge number of breaches which have spanned industries and hit businesses of all sizes. Malicious incursions have become so rampant that some sources are calling 2014 “the year of the breach.” One of the driving factors behind the sheer scale of intrusions is a lack of preparation on the enterprise end. Simply put, hackers are advancing faster than targets are working to defend against them.
Recently, Identity Theft Resource Center put together a comprehensive list of data breaches that have occurred so far this year. In examining list list, the point that emerges most clearly is that any business or organization is a potential target. Of the breaches that have occurred so far this year, for instance, 12 percent have targeted government and military organizations while 7.5 percent have hit educational institutions. Here are some of the breaches from this year:
Organization: U.S. Postal Service
Number of breached records: 800,000
Description: According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Postal Service was targeted by a computer systems breach in which criminals potentially made off with records for 800,000 people associated with the Postal Service, including top directors. The information that was compromised included Social Security numbers as well as names and addresses. Current employees weren’t the only ones who were targeted – retirees were impacted as well. According to USPS spokesman David Partenheimer, the attack was cause for alarm because of the degree of skill involved in carrying it out. The intrusion was “obviously done by a sophisticated person or group,” he said. “It looks like a similar pattern that other government agencies and large corporations had experienced.”
Organization: Cape May-Lewes Ferry’s
Number of breached records: 60,000
Description: This Delaware ferry company experienced a breach for a full year before even detecting that it was happening. Due to the amount of time that elapsed between the breach happening and its discovery, a full 60,000 transactions were subject to exposure before the breach was finally patched up in August 2014. The length that the malicious intrusion went undetected likely won’t bode well for the company’s business in the future, and patrons will likely be wary about doing business with them.
Organization: North Dakota State College of Science
Number of breached records: 15,000+
Description: Toward the beginning of October, NDSCS sent out a notification to over 15,000 students – both current and former – letting them know that their privileged personal data had potentially been compromised, SC Magazine reported. Knowledge of the problem arose when NDSCS discovered that several of the computers in its system had been infected with malware. As a result, the information stolen from the college’s system included Social Security numbers and other highly private data. This particular breach – in which several individual computers were targeted – points to the importance of securing all computing devices in an enterprise system. After all, if computer monitoring software isn’t in place on even a single machine, that’s all it takes for a hacker to worm his or her way in and start wreaking havoc on a company system.
What these breaches suggest is that enterprises need to take steps beyond what they’re currently doing in order to stave off cybercrime. This is where a solution like Deep Freeze comes into play. By creating a frozen snapshot of a workstation’s optimal configuration, Deep Freeze presents the ultimate tool in endpoint protection. If an unwanted element finds its way onto your business’ system, with Deep Freeze you can simply perform a reboot and easily restore the integrity of your business system. Be proactive today.