Every time you leave your home, you lock the door and set the alarm. It’s routine. After all, your valuables are inside. Think of your network as a house anyone can travel to in seconds. Most guests are welcome, but there are plenty of unwanted ones waiting to slip in your backdoor. The number of people who drive by your house might break into the hundreds on a regular day. Traffic passing your digital address can break into the millions. Your business needs cybersecurity.
Small homes seem like obvious targets because security money is usually limited. But big homes must be invincible, right? Wrong. If the perceived reward for breaking in outweighs the risk, a home is no longer off-limits. For businesses and their networks, this is also true. Let’s take a look at a few companies that had their mighty fortresses compromised.
Target’s and Home Depot’s Point of Sale Systems Compromised
In 2013, malicious hackers went after Target’s self-checkout lanes. They installed malware in the company’s point of sale systems. By the time the company discovered the breach, hackers had captured 70 million customers’ identities and 40 million credit/debit cards. The breach only lasted three weeks. Unsecured credit card readers made this possible.
Hackers accomplished a similar feat the following year at Home Depot’s self-checkout lines. This breach captured 56 million credit/debit cards and lasted six months. In both cases, hackers compromised third party vendor credentials to gain access.
A key takeaway is hackers don’t need your business’ information to break into your network. Instead, they can use a less secure affiliate.
To learn more about Target’s post-breach security measures, go here.
Sony Pictures Proves Even Technology Companies Are Vulnerable
During 2014, hackers targeted Sony Pictures’ employees with a series of phishing attacks. In short, phishing attacks work primarily through malicious emails disguised as something someone wouldn’t perceive as a threat. In Sony’s case, hackers made emails appear as internal communications from company associates.
Hackers took more than 100 terabytes of data, and total damages broke $100 million. Adding insult to injury, this was the second instance Sony experienced a hack on this scale. Just three years before, hackers compromised the company’s video game community, PlayStation Network, costing the company more than $170 million. Details on this breach have been tight-lipped but to learn more about it, go here.
Need to Rethink Your Company’s Cybersecurity?
Each of these companies is worth multi-billions. While they certainly have security budgets breaking into the multi-millions, it took one hole to compromise their systems. How serious are you taking your business’ cybersecurity? Whether you’re small and starting out, or on track to compete in the Fortune 500 realm, it’s always a good idea to continually consider your security.
About The Author
Evan Berk is Managing Partner at Certus Technologies, an IT Managed and Cloud Services firm that specializes in helping clients dramatically improve their business productivity.
Evan is passionate about simplifying and demystifying complex Information Technology systems and believes that the best IT systems should make our lives easier and more productive, both in the workplace and at home. He can be contacted at EBerk@CertusTechnologies.com or at 973-944-5000.