Today we have a guest post from TopMail. TopMail are a secure email provider who recently featured in our Business Showcase section.
You can find out about the company and the different services they offer by reading their feature article here.
With 2015 coming to an end, we look back at some of the cyber-attacks of 2015. Individuals and Business don’t realise the importance of having secure databases and secure emails providers. A Study by Duke University has revealed that 96% of UK corporations have seen hackers successfully penetrate their IT systems in an attempt to steal, change or make public important data.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
In February, Anthem Inc. — the second largest health insurer in the U.S. — disclosed that hackers cracked into a database and compromised personal information for nearly 80m people.
“As soon as we learned about the attack, we immediately made every effort to close the security vulnerability, contacted the FBI and began fully cooperating with their investigation,” Anthem said in a statement.
In March, chat room service slack was hacked and the personal details of some if their users were comprised.
Slack said it believed the hackers had accessed a database that would have allowed them to see user names, email addresses and Skype ID.
To prevent further attacks, Slack added in a two-step verification system, to provide two means of identification. These steps involve a user entering a one-time code which is sent to his/her phone, along with the user details to sign in.
In July, Ashley Madison, the adultery website, was breached and some 32 million users had their email addresses and partial credit card information posted to the internet.
With the sole purpose of Ashley Madison being set up for married people to have an affair, having the names out in public was a huge deal.
In October, T-Mobile, 15 million T-Mobile customers had their data stolen after a third-party breach.
According to Legere, the CEO of T-Mobile, hackers successfully obtained people’s private information through Experian, one of the world’s largest credit check companies that process T-Mobile’s credit applications.
Some of the stolen data included birth dates, drivers licence number, passport number, along with a number of other details.
In August, one of the biggest breaches in the UK in 2015 was when around 2.4million Carphone Warehouse customers, with almost 90,000 having encrypted credit card information stolen.
Hong Kong toy manufacturer VTech found itself in a serious hack at the end of November that put sensitive data about children at risk.
The hack was first reported by Motherboard, which was contacted by the hacker when he made his discovery. 4.9 million of parents were affected but most alarmingly, so were 6.4 million of children.
The personal information stolen, which was not encrypted, included names, email addresses, passwords, secret questions and answers for password retrieval, IP addresses, postal addresses, download histories and children’s names, genders and birth dates, according to VTech.
The attack on VTech, which reportedly used poor password security among other issues, ranks as one of the largest breaches of the year.
Along with Carphone Warehouse, TalkTalk was another one, of the UK’s most highly-publicised hacks. TalkTalk was targeted by teenage hackers who stole some 20,000 customers’ details in a data breach that has landed the company with a £35m bill and plummeting shares.
The number of high profile attacks in 2015 is a concern for 2016. Individuals and businesses need to make sure that they have systems in place to prevent cyber-attacks. There is a naïve attitude regarding online security, with “7 in 10 not knowing that opening an email could lead to a cyber-attack”. There are many secure email providers out there such as TopMail which will provide a secure email solution for your email.