Cybersecurity was undoubtedly one of the most influential areas of technology in 2017. The year witnessed an inordinate number of cybersecurity meltdowns globally. Let us look at some of the biggest cyber-attacks of 2017 that shook the world.
1. Equifax data breach: Equifax, an eminent credit-reporting company in the US, tracks and rates the financial history of more than 800 million individual consumers and over 88 million businesses globally. On July 29, 2017, the company detected and blocked suspicious network activity which was associated with a web portal used by U.S. consumers to file disputes. It was then revealed to them that the company was suffering a data breach since mid-May. The breach impacted nearly 145 million users whose confidential data like names, addresses, date of birth, social security numbers and in certain cases driving licence numbers and credit card details were stolen. As per a BBC News, the hackers took advantage of a software vulnerability that the company did not fix and eventually the attack forced the company’s CEO to resign.
2. WannaCry: This was one of the worst ransomware attacks that hit the world in May 2017. The massive attack impacted nearly 300000 computer systems in just four days. Once WannaCry invaded a machine, it automatically scanned the connected LANs and WANs to find other vulnerable hosts and attacked them. The attack spread across 150 countries worldwide impacting large enterprises like Fedex(US), Renault (France), MegaFon (Russia), Telefonica (Spain), China National Petroleum and Russian Interior Ministry. However, the worst hit was UK’s national health care provider, the NHS which had to drop 19000 appointments including surgeries and the staff had to revert to pen and paper due to key systems and telephone lines being impacted. The attack, not just prevented usage of key computer systems but also locked out critical medical equipment like MRI scanners, blood and tissue sample testing devices.
3. Yahoo data breach: Yahoo suffered a colossal data breach in 2013 but in 2017, it got even worse. This time nearly 3 billion accounts were affected which was three times more than the previous one. The hackers stole personal information including mail address, phone number, birth date, security questions and answers. It has been reported that most of the accounts (15000) were owned by US government officials like White House staff members, members of the FBI, NASA and CIA. The 2017 yahoo breach is supposedly the largest in the history of the internet. While the company was already facing some consumer class action lawsuits, this latest attack is assumed to increase their legal troubles.
4. HBO Hack: HBO, a unit of Time Warner Inc., suffered a massive data breach on 31st July 2017. The hackers breached into the company’s network and acquired 1.5 terabytes of data. The compromised data consist of the script and other content of unaired episodes of the network’s marquee series “Game of Thrones”. HBO has conducted a forensic review of their computer systems to understand the scope of breach. The television network even offered $250,000 to the cyber criminals requesting them to extend the deadline for paying the ransom.
5. Petya/Not-Petya: On June 27, NotPetya ransomware targeted Ukraine and took down numerous Government agencies and businesses. NotPetya spread rapidly through corporate networks of multinationals and knocked out thousands of global systems across the globe. During mid of August, Ukrainian Central Bank warned state-owned and private lenders of the appearance of a new malware. Ukrainian organizations are still recovering from the significant financial damage happened during NotPetya ransomware attack.
Security solutions to prevent cyber attacks
It is high time that every company understands the severity of the impact of cyber attacks and takes necessary steps to amp up their organization’s cybersecurity. Protecting their assets and databases should be a major focus of enterprises. Here are a few quick things that they must focus on:
- Create strong internal policies-If your company doesn’t have policies that govern how the systems and databases should be handled, then this is the time that you should create internal policies. Also, ensure that the policies are followed and periodically reviewed.
- Implement robust and reliable security solutions- Investing in top-end security solutions ensures higher security of company assets. Having best-in-class comprehensive solutions like those offered from Seqrite enables organizations to stay protected proactively, actively and reactively too.
- Keep your computers and other devices updated– We often tend to ignore the update notifications that pop up in systems. However, such lapses can cost us our entire data. For organizations, it is crucial to install all updates and latest patches to always stay protected.
- Increase employee awareness- Educating your staff about safe practices can go a long way in protecting your organization against cyber-attacks. They must be trained repeatedly about the same to ensure that cyber safety embeds in their work DNA.
Seqrite is a prodigious company which embraces its clients with top notch security solutions like Endpoint security, UTM, MDM, Encryption and managed services. It enables businesses to run their operations smoothly without worrying about the safety of their assets and network.