What Happens When Cyber Security is Neglected
Cyber security is a very real threat and we at Oak Tree take this as seriously as we hope you do, each and every day. To make sure our network is safe and secure, we diligently work around the clock on our network infrastructure from one end to the other, ensuring it is sound and that our data is backed up utilizing two different methods. This enables us to act fast. If something catastrophic were to take place, there would be “zero” downtime. However, there are those times when a data breach can cause big trouble. This typically happens when a corporation thinks they are immune from attack or “too big” to go after. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest threats that happened this past year and the corporate chaos it created.
J.P. Morgan Credit Card Hack
Recently, it was established that some hackers tried to attack J.P. Morgan’s data systems. The take away from the “it could've been worse” quote is that a breach did occur, yet they had security measures in place. However, even so, millions of Chase customers were impacted by the breach. That one single attack is said to have involved around 80 million U.S. households and somewhere around 7 million small to midsize businesses. This makes it one of the largest attacks to date. That is one distinguishing mark that I am sure J.P. Morgan would like to bury.
This marks one of the particularly ugly sides of data grabbing. These hackers in effect held some of the data for ransom while leaking out a few pieces to stir the pot. Confidential emails between executives regarding poor remarks about the president and celebrities they have worked with were embarrassing to say the least. Sony is working to restore their systems to a non-vulnerable state. None of the executives have smiled since the attack.
United States Weather Systems
Earlier this year, Chinese hackers breached four websites that belong to the U.S. federal agency that oversees all of the weather systems. N.O.A.A. feeds weather data back and forth via satellite to various websites. However, those services were interrupted for more than a week after the attack. The agency tried to cover the attack by declaring it as “unscheduled maintenance,” which is the government equivalent of restaurant owners putting a “back in five minutes” sign on their door when they want to leave for three or four hours.
Earlier this year a few clever hackers were able to lift several private photos of Hollywood celebrities and scattered them across the net. Many of these were explicit and of a sensitive nature, as such, the celebrities were understandably outraged by the event. Ironically, Apple denied any data breach whatsoever even after the evidence proved otherwise, yet it did shore up its security afterwards. I bet they are members of the Flat Earth Society, too.
There were several other attacks that involved state-sponsored malware hits on Belgian websites, Post Office employee information being compromised, Snapchat data grabs like a kid in a candy store; and who could forget the famous Target and Home Depot credit card breach that saw millions of customers’ credit card information flat out stolen?
The bottom line is this: if it can happen to the big guys, it can certainly happen to you. To think that any system is foolproof or that you will never be targeted is naïve. However, what usually happens is that larger corporations simply fall asleep at the wheel. Security updates go unchecked, system updates and virus definitions are not implemented or updated, and as a result back doors are left wide open for hackers to come in and grab data.
This is why we are so vigilant at Oak Tree about this very issue, especially in light of the FFIEC’s recently released findings concerning general observations on cyber security earlier this summer. It is important for us to stay ahead of the curve. To that end we are always working, always updating, and constantly backing up our network to make sure the forms you get from us are safe and that our network does not suffer from an attack.
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