Technology Services • Published 10/02/2019 Cyber Attacks in the News


You’ve probably noticed that cyber attacks are increasingly common headlines in the news. It’s not just your imagination: the number of breaches is increasing. Today’s cyber attacks can compromise a wide range of personal information, run undetected for months or years at a time, and undermine the trust your clients place in your brand. Recovery from an incident often includes significant costs and disruption to normal business operations.

If It Can Happen to Them…

No company wants to make the headlines because of a cybersecurity breach. Here are a few examples of notable brands that were victimized in 2018 and 2019:

  • Facebook (September 2018): Attackers were able to steal access tokens and take over accounts, impacting nearly 50 million users.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts (October 2018): A series of cyber attacks compromised the DD Perks account information of more than 300,000 customers. The company is now being sued by the New York Attorney General for its handling of the data breach.
  • Marriott (November 2018): A four-year breach exposed the data of up to 500 million guests.
  • American Medical Collection Agency (March 2019): This healthcare-related debt collection company discovered a breach that lasted from August 2018 through March 2019. Companies such as LabCorp and Quest diagnostics reported that over 20 million patient records were exposed.
  • Toyota (February and March 2019): Just weeks after taking company systems offline in Australia to thwart an attempted breach, Toyota and Lexus dealers in Japan were targeted for another cyber attack that impacted 3.1 million people.
  • Capital One (July 2019): A single hacker stole contact information, birth dates, bank account numbers, and other personal data related to approximately 106 million individuals and small businesses.
  • Android (July 2019): Approximately 25 million Android phones around the world were infected with malware that quietly replaced popular, trusted applications like WhatsApp.

...It Can Happen to Anyone

Although big brands attract a lot of attention when something goes wrong, smaller organizations face the same risk of data breaches, malware infections, financial loss, and public relations crises. Hospitals, local governments, school districts, non-profits, and small businesses are regular targets of wide-reaching cyber attacks. While multi-national corporations have a lot to lose, a breach doesn’t necessarily mean bankruptcy. However, small and medium-sized businesses are less able to absorb the consequences and continue business without proper safeguards in place to facilitate recovery.

Don’t Panic: Plan Ahead

Because data breaches and ransomware are becoming a common threat in today’s interconnected, technology-based business world, it’s crucial to have safeguards in place for if (or, more likely, when) your company experiences a cyber attack. Get a cybersecurity risk assessment from a trusted IT consultant, enforce a clear IT policy, and deploy a comprehensive, multilevel cybersecurity program.

P&N’s Technology Services Group can help. We’re ready to answer your cybersecurity questions, assess your current IT security posture through vulnerability and penetration testing, empower your employees with up-to-date training, and even monitor your network and alert you to threats coupled with advanced remediation and support. Don’t wait until your company makes the news for all the wrong reasons—contact us today.

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