On Thursday, September 7, 2017, hackers stole the names and social security numbers of 143 million Americans after a massive breach of Equifax. That’s more than half of the adult population.
Amazing, right? Not really—Cybercriminals are much more sophisticated than in the past. Staying safe and secure online is becoming more difficult all the time. Cyber criminals are everywhere, constantly looking for ways to breach network vulnerabilities—And they hit the “Mother Lode” with this one!
The hackers entered the Equifax data base, scanned through birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers, as well as 209,000 credit card numbers! The breach occurred between mid-May and the end of July, but, unfortunately, we’re just finding out now.
Equifax is an obvious target for hackers because it stores so much valuable, confidential personal data. But isn’t it ironic that a company that sells identity and security products ends up getting hacked? If they can, your business can too.
It’s imperative that you find out if your data was compromised. To do so, go to the Equifax website and sign up for their free credit monitoring and identity theft protection. (Equifax is offering this to every U.S. consumer in the country regardless of whether they were victimized.)
Here are the instructions Equifax provides:
To determine if your personal information may have been impacted by this incident, please follow the below steps:
The information accessed includes credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers. Fraudulent credit card charges will likely take place, if they haven’t already.
Here’s a brief list of some of the breaches that took place just this year:
Gmail May 3, 2017: Gmail users were targeted in a phishing scam that gained access to accounts through a third-party app. The emails looked like they came from a user’s trusted contact saying they wanted to share a Google Doc with them. Once clicked, the link led to Google’s real security page where the person was prompted to allow a fake Google Docs app to manage his or her email account. Nearly 1 million users were affected.
The IRS April 6, 2017: 100,000 taxpayers had their personal information stolen via the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which is used to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Identity thieves also used the tool to steal additional data.
DocuSign May 17, 2017: Customers of this electronic signature provider were targeted with malware phishing attacks. The hackers breached one of DocuSign’s systems, and used the email addresses they stole to conduct a malicious email campaign where recipients were prompted to click and download a Microsoft Word document that contained malware.
Chipotle April 25, 2017: Chipotle said payment card transactions that occurred from March 24, 2017 through April 18, 2017 may have been breached. The investigation is still ongoing. At the time the notice was published, the company didn’t have any additional information, and said it’s too early to provide any more details.
You can no longer protect your wired and wireless networks with simple security solutions. You must deploy a proactive defense.
You can’t do this alone. Anti-virus and malware programs aren’t enough You must partner with a trusted Managed Service Provider in your area who provides:
It’s hard enough to secure your personal data. Securing your business’s data is much harder. It takes expertise. However, you can implement very effective solutions (such as those listed above) to ensure that when a hacker comes around, he’ll move on to another victim, because your infrastructure isn’t worth the trouble of hacking into.
P&J Computers Inc. will deploy a proactive defense to protect your business in Albany from today’s malicious cyber threats. Don’t wait until a data breach occurs. Contact us for an assessment of your Network Security needs: (518) 459-6712 firstname.lastname@example.org