Is Your Cybersecurity Keeping You Safe?
Although it’s generally considered common knowledge that small businesses are more vulnerable to having their critical infrastructure breached by hackers, 2018 showed us that no one is truly safe. You might have reliable antivirus software employed for your network, but so did plenty of other large companies.
In this blog, we’ll talk about which of the big guys took the largest hit last year and what that means for the future of cybersecurity.
When Starwood Hotels confirmed that up to 500 million hotel guests’ sensitive data had been extracted in a cyberattack, red flags were immediately raised. Although this had been detected a few months before it was made public (discovered in September and ultimately reported in November), the breach could be traced back to an information security crisis dating back to 2014.
The Starwood Hotels breach was one the largest in history, after the two record-setting Yahoo hacks. Beyond the typical breach fodder, including names and credit card numbers, hackers stole other information, such as passport numbers, travel destinations, and other pertinent trip details.
In August, approximately 380,000 travelers who had purchased plane tickets through the British Airways website and mobile application were robbed of their personal data. Contrary to how most companies respond in the wake of a ransomware attack or security breach, British Airways quickly notified affected customers and provided in-depth instructions that they should follow moving forward. They also updated their security measures to improve how they protected their customers’ personal information.
MyFitnessPal found itself in serious trouble when hackers gained access to the personal account information of more than 150 million of its users in February. Credit card data was left untouched, but their cybersecurity solution failed to protect email addresses, which are valuable commodities for cybercriminals. Even if the hackers don’t have access to the payment method you used, a lot of customers use similar passwords and email addresses across the many accounts they have on multiple websites.
Ticket merchant and Eventbrite subsidiary Ticketfly was dealt a potentially killer blow in 2018 in the wake of 26 million customers having their names, addresses, phone numbers, and email information compromised. Panic set in for the site after the breach, and it had to be shut down for a time. Although some customers got to enjoy a free show after the shutdown, the company was in full-fledged chaos for an extended period of time.
In a security breach that should alarm even the largest of corporations, hackers stole more than 92 million sensitive records from MyHeritage, a online genealogy platform. Although no genetic data related to customers’ DNA was stolen, criminals were still able to acquire millions of email address and passwords. And the implications are alarming. Just because the cyberattackers are not interested in the genetic data now, that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be in the years to come.
Tell us if you’ve heard this one before. Facebook’s reputation took a serious hit in September 2018 when hackers gained access to more than 30 million user records. Similar to the breaches at MyHeritage and MyFitnessPal, payment information remained untouched.
Instead, deeply personal information, including relationship statuses, employers, check-in locations, and more were taken. This could be the future of cyberattacks—neglecting payment information in favor of other data that could prove more useful for the hackers down the road.