2014 hasn’t exactly been the most stellar year for corporate companies or customers as far as data security is concerned. Hackers have shown that they can easily outmaneuver the defenses of organizations to get to the information they require.
Just last week, J.P Morgan Chase JPM disclosed that a major cyber attack during the summer had compromises information of nearly 76 million homes. This included sensitive information such as address, phone numbers and e-mail ids. Apart from this about 7 million small business customers of the company were also affected. This is widely believed to be the biggest cyber attack in the history of Corporate America.
At the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase on Park Avenue, bank officials and federal authorities are coming to a USD $ 2 million settlement in the case involving the bank’s ties with rogue financier Bernard L. Madoff.
Here is a look at some other major security breaches of recent years:
Target: Last year’s holiday season was a rather bleak time for customers of the Target franchise. A huge security breach at that time led to the personal information of 100 million customers being stolen. Almost a year later, Target is still convincing customers that it has taken all necessary precautions to prevent such an attack in the future. The costs associated with the attack were to the tune of $ 148 million for the company.
Then there was the infamous celebrity picture leak scandal of 2014 where hackers broke into the iCloud accounts of celebrities and made off with nude pictures. The celebrities affected included actresses Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst. At that time Apple said that the attack only targeted celebrities and did not affect the general population. They also said there weren’t any breaches in any of the apple systems including iCloud and Find my iPhone. However it did result in a bad rap for the company when its new iPhone 6 was released just a few weeks later.
Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart is the company that topped this year’s Fortune 500 list, and even they have not escaped attacks by hackers. In 2009, Wired reported that hackers broke into the database of the company’s WMT development team. They were then able to steal information from the cash registers. This data was tracked to a computer in Eastern Europe. Wal-Mart labeled it an internal issue and was not required to come out into the open with it. Wal-Mart’s Chief Privacy Officer has since said that the company is doing its best to systematically encrypt data to prevent future attacks.
Home Depot: The company was the victim of an attack that resulted in cyberthieves stealing almost 60 million credit card numbers. It happened earlier this year and it took almost five months for the authorities to even realize that the fraud was taking place. In September the company went on record to say that anyone who had used a credit card with them over a six-month period could have been a victim. CEO Frank Blake did seem to take the matter seriously and reassured customers saying that the retailer had beefed up its security measures.
Whilst most of the clients I have are not anywhere near the same scale of organisation as the ones above, its important for all businesses to have proper IT Security in place. IN most cases this is offered as part of the IT Support in Northern Ireland service contract that many organisation have.
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