6 Important Lessons To Be Learned From The Latest Data Breaches

Data Breaches

Data breaches have become more common, each day tens of business data are breached. Although not all make the headlines because only the most audacious and largest data breaches and hacks of the largest organizations make the headlines. But the fact is that data holders and data management companies are having their data breached. Unlike in previous years when data breaches and hacks of computer network systems were carried out by poorly equipped and unorganized criminals.

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Today’s high-profile data breaches are carried out by highly organized, well-equipped and trained hackers. More importantly, some of the most high-profile data breaches are sponsored by state actors, government agencies of hostile countries and organized crime syndicates. These data breaches comprising the data of millions of users put them at risk, and lead to financial losses. And for the businesses involved, it leads to loss of customers’ trust, confidence and high financial costs. While these hacks are unfortunate and all efforts must be put towards stopping them, it is important that we learn lessons from them. Because the fact is that every data breach whether high profile or not, comes with a lot of lessons to be learned. In what follows is an exam of six lessons that can be learned from the latest data breaches.

  1. Every system has its vulnerabilities no matter how seemingly secure it is, and hackers are out there to find these vulnerabilities and breach them. Information technology (IT) experts have called the Solar Winds Orion hacks the biggest security breach in history.In late 2020, SolarWinds, an IT administration platform suffered a very devastating security breach. The hackers were able to infect SolarWinds Orion software updates with a specially designed malware that created back door access into any system that those updates got to. Moreover, they were able to use this vulnerability to reach 18000 high-profile targets. Among these high profile targets were Cisco system, Microsoft, most United States government agencies and countless high profile organizations. It led to the theft of millions of personal and business data.The lesson from the solar winds Orion hack is that no system is completely secure or safe from being breached. Database management and security is a never-ending endeavor. Database managers and data holders must continually anticipate system hacks and improve their systems to deal with the ever-growing threat of data breaches. Software engineers, IT systems administrators and company executives should not be absolutely sure of their codes but apply zero-trust principles. They should also understand that hacking attempts may not be an all-out direct assault on protected systems but hackers may target the weak link in a secure system to gain privileged access to networks.Installing an extra data security system is very helpful. Hoody ensures that all the data exchanged is encrypted with powerful technology behind it. Be it hackers or mass surveillance from government, no one will be able to decrypt data that is being shared if you are using Hoody. They also have a no-log policy, their servers are run entirely without hard drives, on customized and encrypted Linux OS. This guarantees that it is simply impossible to log anything to disk. Hoody will not be capable of disclosing any logs, even if they were forced to.
  2. Data security and threat management should be managed from the top down. The security of IT platforms and network systems should not be left to the care of middle or low-level staff. It should be treated as a top management issue that should be made a priority. Because when data breaches happen, they undercut the companies’ reputation and consumer confidence. The high-profile data breaches of Equifax, Fireeye and Orion have had the positive impact of drawing executive attention to data management risks and the threat of breaches.
  3. Ensure that third parties who share data with your company have a high level of data security similar or equal to your own because they could be the weak link in your data security chain. The breach of the data of 540 million Facebook users was caused by data collected by CulturaColectiva being configured to allow public download of the files. The data was collected using Facebook’s platform but was no longer under Facebook’s control. And the third party under whose control it was could not protect it. Had CulturaColectiva had a security system that warded off such attacks, the Facebook users’ data it had would not have been compromised.
  4. Enforce access control policies so users cannot act outside their intended authority or permission and use functions or tools that could breach network security. The hack of First American which led to the exposure of 885 million documents which included tax documents, bank statements, social security numbers etc. was caused by the manipulation of Insecure Direct Object Reference (IDOR) which happens when a hacker can guess the pattern an IT system or application uses to store data. In 2021, Parler was also a victim of the same vulnerability when its data was breached.
  5. Ensure employee training and constant retraining. Many of the latest hacks were caused by or inadvertently aided by employee negligence. Compromised administrative credentials emanating from employee negligence. Hence, there is a need for data managers and IT security system employees to be constantly trained and with the latest skills.
  6. Invest in cyber security and understand that cyber security is an ongoing process. One of the major lessons learned from the recent data breaches is that companies, especially small businesses must continually invest significantly in cyber security, constant updates and conducting vulnerability tests.

The above are some of the lessons worth learning from the latest data breaches and it is important that internet companies and IT platforms take the necessary steps to drastically reduce the incidence of hacking and data breaches.

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