Keeping your data secure is a top priority. You don’t want any leaks or breaches that might put your customers at risk. However, there have been a huge number of breaches throughout the years, and 2016 is no different.
In 2016 we have seen a huge number of data breaches, with millions of people affected by each. A great deal of data has been lost or stolen through different methods, such as hacking and poor security. So, which were the biggest data breaches of 2016 and what should you be on the look out for?
The Commission on Elections
Back in March, the Philippine Commission on Elections (more commonly referred to as COMELEC) website was hacked by a group calling themselves Anonymous Philippines. The website was left defaced, with a clear message there telling those in charge that people wanted tighter security. The hackers, it seems, were concerned that the vote counting machines weren’t secure enough, and that the general election in May would put people at risk.
The next day the website was returned back to normal, but shortly afterwards a new group of hackers attacked. These hackers, referring to themselves as LulzSec Pilipinas, had posted a link online. The link claimed to contain the entire COMELEC database, as well as an index of the database’s downloadable files.
The link and database put the 55 million registered voters at risk, though the cyber forensics company discovered that the information released in the data dumps contained information from roughly 1.3 million voters. A number of other pieces of information were revealed, such as 15.8 million fingerprint records from those who have run for office since the 2010 elections.
The majority of those responsible for the hack have since been apprehended, and the Commission on Elections have tightened security since.
Taobao is a buying and selling site that is extremely popular in China. It works in a similar way to eBay, allowing users to list their goods and sell them to those interested. A website like this has a lot of data, especially when they are over 20 million active accounts and even more dormant.
The website found its data breached earlier this year, though it began in October 2015, when hackers tried to access the 100 million email addresses and passwords used on the site. The hackers managed to gain access to nearly 21 million accounts. While this isn’t the full amount on the website, it is way more than it should have been.
Those hacking the website and gaining access to the accounts then used them to make fake bids on the site, as well as post fake reviews.
It was a huge breach and it deeply impacted the company. In fact, shares in Alibaba Holding Ltd, who run the site, dropped in the US by a huge 3.7%.
Many websites in America have proven to be big targets for data breaches, and healthcare providers seem to have suffered more than others. The national network of cancer-treatment centres, 21st Century Oncology, found themselves the victim of a hack.
The hackers managed to steal information from around 2.2 million patients. This information ranged from personal data to financial and even medical. Worst of all is that they were not the only healthcare providers in America to be hit this year.
The Centene Group and Premier Healthcare both found themselves being hacked in 2016. Between the two groups over 1 million patient records were breached. Given the kind of vital information healthcare providers have access to, it shows just how important your security is.
Email service providers
Whenever we hear about hacks in the news, the big ones that tend to draw attention often involve our mobile phones, any sensitive images we have sent, and our emails. It should come as no surprise that we saw a number of data breaches centring around emails this year.
On the black web, a security company came across an underground Russian hackers’ forum. On this forum was a giveaway containing over 270 million email addresses, as well as the passwords. And they weren’t all from the same website.
Roughly 57 were Mail.ru accounts, with a further 40 million from Yahoo, 33 million from Hotmail, and 24 million from Gmail.
Hold Security, the company responsible for discovering this huge data breach, pointed out just how vital it was that they discovered the breach when they did. They stated that some of the email addresses belonged to those working within major banks, retailers, and manufacturers. Definitely not the kind of emails you want to be on the loose!
Another big hack this year hit the company Verizon Enterprise. They found themselves the victim of a hack, which saw the financial information of 1.5 million customers stolen. This might not seem like a huge number, but many Fortune 500 companies actually speak to Verizon Enterprise Solutions when they are hacked.
The hack meant that, shortly later, this information was put up for sale on a hackers’ forum. The person posting it wanted $100,000 for the data, and also offered to sell information about the various security vulnerabilities you can exploit on the Verizon website.
This is perhaps one of the most shocking data breaches we have seen this year. Why? Because Verizon Enterprise is usually the company that explains just how the various other breaches have happened. They point out the flaws that hackers can exploit and tell companies how to make it safer. The fact that they themselves were hacked puts people on edge.
Keeping your data secure
The biggest data breaches of 2016 show us just important it is to keep your data secure. It is vital for your customers and for your business that data is protected, but learning how to d this can be a challenge. Here at ODS we have a number of services to help you keep your website and data secure from attacks.
We can help you with performance configuration and tuning, as well as the configuration and tuning of your local firewall. We offer you pen-testing and auditing of your server, to ensure that only those with designated access are allowed in.
ODS can help you build a secure database, rejecting any traffic from potentially dangerous sources. This helps to ensure your data stays private.
We also offer a number of other services, from web security, network security, and data forensics. With data forensics you will be able to prepare for the worst, identifying breaches and learning just how it occurred. This can help to prevent further breaches.
You could even arrange training with us. We can train your staff to recognise potential cyber threats and understand where data breaches can occur. With ODS you can be happy in the knowledge that your data is secure.
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