Do You Care You Are a Victim?

The annual cost of all data breaches in the USA is expected to hover around $2.1 trillion. This mammoth total is enough to provide subsidence to numerous developing countries around the world.  We could even send all Americans to cybersecurity training and have money left over. This potential loss should be enough motivation to incentivize any board of directors to secure their enterprise. It should be enough of a threat to move the Government towards more regulation, but it is not. reports that 2,100 websites and their databases have either been hacked by cybercriminals or have encountered dataCareer breaches in the first half of 2018 alone.  This means that an excess of 2 billion user accounts has been exposed to hackers and their nefarious schemes. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, an alarming situation for business owners.  It should also alarm consumers, but the low awareness factor keeps them silent.

I mean, we would see rioting in the street if account information from our social media accounts were shared by a legal entity. Why doesn’t the loss of the data through nefarious means agitate us?  

Why Wake-Up Now

We all need to wake-up now.  In a recent AT&T study, it was made clear that CEO and those responsible for network security have a different opinion on the security of their network.  Around 85 percent of the CEOs believe that the security of their networks was properly funded and staffed. Only 55 percent of the responsible technical staff from those same organizations believed the network they are responsible for are adequately funded and staffed.   

Companies and organizations need to invest and employ capable personnel who have prior experiences regarding cyber theft and preventive measures.  Even if these individuals are demanding great compensation for their services, the CEO and the top tier management must have awareness of the potential loss in order to determine the value of the hire.  This analysis is not being performed except in certain sectors like banking.

Recently, the various centers of Medicare & Medicaid services throughout America have were hacked.  A total of 75,000 records have been accessed cybercriminals, thus enabling hackers to misuse the medical data. Even though these centers have well-developed firewalls and equipment, they were still unable to prevent this attack. Could their lack of cyber talent have been the issue?

Watch Your Social Media Addiction

Facebook also encountered a fatal data breach in 2018 in which the accounts of 50,000,000 user’s information was hacked by data thieves.  The spokespeople at Facebook cite poor or lack of security for this data. Wouldn’t you think a company valued at tens of billions of dollars could protect their infrastructure and data?  Maybe, it just wasn’t important enough to corporate executives. During the 2016 election Facebook actually opened its door to people wanting to use data in the way it was not intended to be used.

Most recently hackers have been hacking Facebook user’s accounts with the information they have gained from other conquests.  A lot of people will use the same password on multiple social media accounts. Thus, if I hack Snapchat successfully, I can get into the victim’s Facebook account.  Once in Facebook the hacker can run ads tagging the relatives of the target for something like scarfs. The goal is to get people clicking of the ads and buying products that don’t exist.  The hacker collects the credit card information and personal data for every person attempting to make a purchase.

Does any of this matter?

If we look back in history, we will notice a pattern of these attacks on businesses and how they correlate with many of the projections made by the brightest cyber-related companies.  Analysis confirms cyberattacks are escalating with each passing year. This was predicted and sometimes these studies even project which sectors will be hardest hit. The Verizon Data Breach Reports which emerged in 2013 had different breach numbers than the ones from Statistica.  But all statistics show the same pattern of expanding data successful breaches across all industries.

In 2018, the report concluded that ransomware was definitely the attack of the day.  It seems criminals want their money upfront. Ransomware allows a criminal to demand electronically delivered funds in exchange for the return of the data being held ransom.  Interestingly, in the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Report, Verizon warned of the growth in this cybertheft space. And, even with this head start Government and industry are still challenged to stop it.

Like one famous coach said, I am going to keep doing it until they can stop us.  This game is long from over, but it doesn’t look like we will stop hackers anytime soon.  Hackers continue to be inspired by the opportunities to take what they want. It is high time we give them hell.  

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