Learn From Cyberbreaches To Drive Data Defense

Digital LockIn today’s world, companies and consumers alike are depending on all sorts of innovative tools to house an increasing amount of their sensitive data. While a number of solutions can effectively improve businesses’ functions, there is still a great deal that is unknown about these advancements, including the ways in which information technology professionals can ensure that these tools are protected. If chief information officers and their teams examine some of the latest cyberbreaches, they may be able to identify certain weaknesses in their own systems and reduce the risk of future incidents.

IT executives probably have high hopes as they invest in implementing the most recent wave of advancements throughout their business practices. Revolutionary technologies, such as cloud computing and mobile applications, can certainly overhaul different aspects of companies’ operations. However, these rapidly evolving solutions are not perfect, and the flaws that they do have include leaving confidential corporate information vulnerable to hackers. Even some of the most notable businesses around the world have experienced cybertheft attacks, which emphasizes IT teams’ need to be vigilant when it comes to securing their data.

Yahoo Mail marred by cyberattack
As members of the public look at their email login screens, the majority of them are probably confident that no one could guess their password and infiltrate their inbox. Although that is the case more often than not, a recent cyberattack on Yahoo Mail accounts proves that breaching the system can be done.

Computer Weekly reported that Yahoo Mail accounts were recently hacked into by unauthorized users. These individuals supposedly obtained passwords to the account from a third party. In light of this belief, Yahoo recognized that despite its best efforts to protect user accounts, there are still outside outlets that are not sufficiently secured on which individuals may have their email information stored.

“Based on our current findings, the list of usernames and passwords that were used to execute the attack was likely collected from a third-party database,” Jay Rossiter, senior vice president of Yahoo’s platforms and personalization products division, wrote in a blog post.

“We have no evidence that they were obtained directly from Yahoo’s systems,” he added.

According to the security research firm Trustwave, hackers have swiped login information for sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google, in addition to Yahoo. With all of these high-profile online outlets afflicted by password theft, IT professionals should be on the lookout for their own systems’ login features. If CIOs and their staffs want to guarantee that their businesses’ information is out of hackers’ reach, they need to have all the proper data protection precautions in place.

Target IT weaknesses to boost data security
Internet empires are not the only ones to be subjected to cyberattacks. Any kind of company could encounter data security issues, ranging from small businesses to chain retailers. For instance, the breach at Target that occurred last year affected over a hundred million debit and credit card accounts held by customers who had done business with this company. Using malware, hackers are believed to have accessed shoppers’ card information, selling it to others.

Although this incident was extremely unfortunate for all who were involved, Information Age pointed out that CIOs and their IT teams can learn some valuable lessons from the attack. By doing so, professionals could decrease the likelihood of a similar incident occurring with their departments.

The source advised that IT teams should prepare to be able to implement improved malware detection methods. Up until this point, malware detection programs have been reactive rather than preventative. Typically, solutions are only able to address malware if they go through a lengthy process of picking it apart first. This means that malware has already infected one component of a system, giving it even more time to progress to other portions. That being said, there are programs emerging that take a more proactive approach, which allows companies to detect malware before it spreads.

Additionally, CIOs should shift the focus of their security strategies. Oftentimes, professionals get wrapped up in protecting hardware, such as their machines or devices. While these are legitimate concerns, it may be more effective for IT staff members to target defending their data directly. By keeping tabs on their information and ensuring that there are adequate security measures set up, they could better protect their data.

CIOs.com
CIOs.com is your place on the web for intelligent, issue driven content that helps you develop practical IT solutions and strategy.