In the past few years, data breaches have become disturbingly common. Major companies like Yahoo and Dropbox have been hit hard, with billions of customer credentials being compromised. These breaches have led to serious consequences for both Individuals and businesses. For many individuals, it can lead to their personal information being leaked online, and at the risk of identity theft. For businesses, the consequences of a data breach are more than financial losses, reputational damage and loss of customers and investors. The sheer scale of these breaches is a wake-up call. It’s clear that more needs to be done to protect our data. Otherwise, we risk facing even more catastrophic losses in the future.

Let’s take a look at the major data breaches, and what we can learn from them.

Giant Companies at the helm of Data breaches:

Yahoo: In 2014, a hacker began targeting Yahoo employees with spear-phishing emails. These emails contained malicious links that, when clicked, allowed the hacker to gain access to the Yahoo employee’s account. Once the hacker had access to an employee’s account, they were able to view sensitive information, such as email conversations and contact lists. The hacker then used this information to target other Yahoo employees and gain access to their accounts. This continued until the hack was finally discovered in 2016. It’s estimated that over 500 million Yahoo accounts were compromised in this data breach.

Dropbox: Many people use the same password for all of their online accounts, but security experts warn that this practice leaves you vulnerable. If one site is hacked, your accounts on all sites and apps are compromised. This is exactly what happened in mid-October when someone posted 400 user names and passwords on Pastebin. The person posting claimed to have nearly 7 million Dropbox name and password combinations and asked for bitcoin donations to prompt the release of more. Dropbox was quick to fire back that no breach had happened on its servers. Instead, the usernames and passwords were stolen from unrelated services.

What can we learn from these data breaches?

For individuals:

Never re-use your password: When it comes to online security, one of the worst things you can do is use the same password for multiple accounts. If your password is exposed or stolen, hackers can then use it to gain access to your other accounts. This is known as credential stuffing, and it’s a major problem on the internet today. The best way to protect yourself is to use a different password for each of your online accounts. That way, even if one of your passwords is compromised, your other accounts will remain safe. You can also use a password manager to help keep track of all your passwords. With a little bit of effort, you can greatly improve your online security and protect yourself from credential-stuffing attacks.

Be alert. Don’t assume your data is safe: Hackers are constantly finding new ways to access sensitive information, and it’s important to stay one step ahead of them. One of the best ways to do this is to keep your knowledge up to date on data security best practices. This means staying informed about the latest threats and knowing how to protect your data.

Never completely trust service providers: While most service providers are legitimate and take data security seriously, there are always a few bad apples that are looking to exploit their customers. That’s why it’s important to never completely trust service providers and to think twice before sharing any information on their sites. Always check the privacy policy to see how your information will be used.

Use multi-factor authentication: In order to protect your personal information, it is essential to use two-factor or multi-factor authentication. This means that in addition to a password, you will also need to provide a second code that can be generated by a security key or sent to your phone. This makes it much harder for hackers to access your accounts, as they would need to have both your password and your security key or phone. While it may take a few extra seconds to log in, it is worth the extra effort to safeguard your personal information.

Business perspective:

Educate your employees: Data security is essential for any business, yet employees are often the weakest link when it comes to data security. Educating your employees about data security and cyber security is essential to protecting your business. Employees need to be aware of the dangers of data breaches and the importance of keeping confidential information secure. They should know how to spot signs of a phishing attack and what to do if they receive suspicious emails and many other threats.

Implement data security culture:  Data security is essential for any organization that holds sensitive information. It is essential to have strong data security culture and policies in place. Data security policies & guidelines should be enforced at all levels of the organization. All employees should be required to follow the same guidelines for handling and storing sensitive data. By implementing these measures, organizations can help to protect their data from theft or leakage.

Encrypt data: Encryption is a process of transforming readable data into an unreadable format or you can say unbreakable code. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to access your information if they were to somehow get a hold of it. If your data is encrypted and locked at rest, and a hacker got access to your system, they would not be able to read the encrypted data. For these reasons, encrypting your data is one of the best ways to keep it safe.

Take frequent encrypted data backups:  Losing important data can be a nightmare for any individual or business. That’s why it’s essential to frequently back up your data in the cloud. However, it’s also important to make sure that your backups are encrypted. Otherwise, your data could be easily accessed by anyone who gains access to your account. Free cloud services are often less reliable than paid ones, so it’s important to choose a reputable provider.

About Siccura

Data is important to any person or business. It is the lifeline of a business, and it needs protecting. At Siccura, we’re on a mission to help individuals and businesses lead a private and secure digital life. Our solutions are designed to provide complete data protection, security and ultimate control of data no matter where it is.

What’s more, at Siccura we understand that data protection solutions can only go so far. That’s why we’ve developed Siccura Cybershield, an awareness program developed to change the behaviours of employees so that they become aware of the digital risks, and stay one step ahead before attacks strike.