Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I've been hacked, and you?

The report of the week

I’m 40 years old, I’m a virgin and I’ve never been hacked…”. What? Haven't you ever been hacked? Are you sure? Well… You must be one of the privileged few people who have not suffered hacking and lost their passwords and emails… yet. In a few years time, instead of the question: “Do you study or work?” when flirting in a pub people will start saying: “I have been hacked, and you?”. If you don’t believe it, give time to time.

Last Monday we were talking about the security breach at Shiseido, the Japanese cosmetics company, with 420,000 customers affected, today, it’s the turn of one of the largest online video platforms on the Internet: Dailymotion, with 85 million accounts leaked. Nobody is safe here! Linkedin, Dropbox, Yahoo, Tumblr, Opera, Weebly, AdultFriendFinder are just a few companies that have realised their systems were not as secure as they thought.

Dailymotion warned its users: it’s necessary to change all passwords immediately, especially if you are using the same one on different websites and social networks (this is one of the most common mistakes people still make).

According to a study by Juniper Research, the costs of cybercrime will reach 2 trillion by 2018 ($2,000,000,000,0000). The number is so big that it becomes impossible to imagine. The main reason of this: data breaches, that are exposing millions of individuals and their personal information.

Such cyber attacks are inevitable and businesses will always be at risk. The costs are very high, not only because of the money that is at stake but also because of how it affects the company’s brand and reputation among its own customers and potential buyers. Ninety percent of the organisations surveyed rate identity protection services as a priority, and more than half of them recognise the importance of writing a letter notifying the cyber attack to the people affected.

A security breach requires a quick response by the company. These are some of the practices recommended by experts to be ready in case of a data breach:
  1. Identify risk and prioritise strategies to mitigate the damage
  2. Have a response plan to these types of incidents, up to date and tested in advance, if possible
  3. Protect information with intelligent security
  4. Avoid gathering unnecessary data
  5. Carry out a risk assessment and obtain insurance
  6. Use multiple authentications
  7. Develop and keep an inventory of all your hardware and software
  8. Use the latest versions of applications and operating systems
  9. Become accustomed to using complex passwords and ask your workers to do it too
  10. Keep your customers informed at all times: they should be your priority
After taking all these tips into account, it’s time to know if your account has been compromised. You can check it on websites like Leaked Source and Have I been pwned? Just by writing your email, you will know if you are among the unfortunate.

Image source: Have I been pwned?

It’s okay. You may be a virgin at forty… And you may not have been hacked yet. But just in case, maybe you should check. Nobody likes bad news…

Main image: The 40-Year-Old Virgin


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