With 2017 in the rearview mirror, it’s time to focus on the future. But to keep your business safe, it’s useful to reflect on the mistakes that were made last year—and for many businesses, 2017 was a devastating year for cyber attacks.
With cyber criminals becoming more sophisticated by the day, it’s more important than ever for business owners to stay one step ahead of the latest threats. Let’s take a look back at the scariest hacks of 2017—and find out what you can do to ensure your business isn’t mentioned in next year’s list.
May, 2017. In a single day, the WannaCry virus wound its way around the world, infecting more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries. Spanish telecommunications companies, healthcare facilities in the UK, and various other businesses froze in the face of a message on their desktops stating that WannaCry would encrypt and delete original network files—unless, of course, the victim paid a $300 ransom per computer. Even payment didn’t guarantee access to their data.
WannaCry’s reign of terror slowed once investigators pinpointed its means of incursion. They found that the virus was able to move as swiftly and freely as it did by exploiting a common network security flaw. Unfortunately, this flaw was only uncovered after the virus caused an estimated $4 billion in damage.
Its namesake may be an exclamation, but in 2017, consumers learned that Yahoo! had kept a serious data breach hush hush for years.
It all started in 2013, when over one billion Yahoo user accounts were reported compromised—a report the company publicly confirmed as recently as 2016. But in 2017, it became clear that the number was actually much higher, and the impact far greater.
Just four months after Verizon acquired Yahoo’s core Internet assets, it was revealed that every single customer account had been affected—meaning that three billion Yahoo accounts, including email, Tumblr, Fantasy, and Flickr had been stolen. After four years and thorough investigation, the culprit remains at large.
Fast food chain Chipotle had a bad experience with cyber criminals in April. Malware designed to access payment card data stored on point-of-sale (POS) devices lifted cardholder names, card numbers, expiration dates, and internal verification codes from the magnetic strip as cards were routed through the system.
Chipotle assures customers that it removed the malware and promises to refine its cyber security strategy.
New Year, New and Improved Cyber Security Strategy
2017 brought cyber threats of unprecedented sophistication and scope, and the trend is set to continue in 2018. A new year brings new challenges, but it also brings fresh opportunities for change. A wise new year’s resolution for any business owner? Bolster cyber security.
It can always be tough to stick to resolutions, especially if you’re not sure where to begin—but eMazzanti is here to help. Our team of experts can evaluate your current data protection process, patch any vulnerabilities, and even perform cost-effective round the clock network monitoring to protect your business from threats.
Set your business up for success in the coming year. Contact eMazzanti today to find out more.