Guest article by Cybersecurity Professionals
What can we learn from the major data breaches of 2018?
2018 was a major year for cybersecurity. With the introduction of GDPR, the public’s awareness of their cyber identities has vastly increased – and the threat of vulnerability along with it. The Information Commissioner’s Office received an increased number of complaints this year and the news was filled with reports of multi-national and multi-millionaire businesses suffering dramatic breaches at the hand of cybercriminals.
2018 Data Breaches
Notable breaches last year include:
5. British Airways
The card details of 380,000 customers were left vulnerable after a hack affected bookings on BA’s website and app. The company insists that no customer’s card details have been used illegally but they are expected to suffer a major loss of money in revenue and fines as a result of the attack.
Almost 2 million users had their personal data, including billing information and email addresses accessed through an API by an international group of hackers last August.
A vulnerability in the app’s cloud computing account meant that the names and contact details of 21 million users were affected on Timehop. The company assured users that memories were only shared on the day and deleted after, meaning that the hackers were not able to access their Facebook and Twitter history.
2. Facebook & Cambridge Analytica
One of the most sensationalised news stories of the last year, Facebook suffered a string of scandals after it was released that analytics firm Cambridge Analytica had used the Facebook profile data of 87 million users in an attempt to influence President Trump’s campaign and potentially aid the Vote Leave campaign in the UK-EU referendum.
After a “malicious third party” accessed Quora’s system, the account information, including passwords, names and email addresses, of 100 million users was compromised. The breach was discovered in November 2018.
As the UK made the switch from the Data Protection Act to GDPR, businesses and internet users across the country suddenly became more aware of their internet identities and their rights pertaining to how businesses handled their information.
With the responsibility now firmly on the business to protect the data of UK citizens, companies are expected to keep a much higher standard of security in order to protect all personal data of their clients.
How many complaints to the ICO?
Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, said that the year 2017-18 was ‘one of increasing activity and challenging actions, some unexpected, for the office’.
This is shown in an increase in data protection complaints by 15%, as well as an increase in self-reported breaches by 30%. Since this is the first year of GDPR, it is expected that self-reported breaches have increased as businesses work to insure themselves against much higher fines for putting off their announcement.
The ICO also reports 19 criminal prosecutions and 18 convictions last year and fines totalling £1.29 million for serious security failures under the Data Protection Act 1998. The office has assured that they don’t intend to make an example of firms reporting data breaches in the early period of GDPR but as time goes on, leniency is likely to fade as businesses settle into the higher standards.
What does it mean for SMEs?
With 36% of SMEs having no cybersecurity plan, the general consensus is that they make for unpopular targets. However, with the GDPR, the responsibility is on the business to protect their data so being vulnerable could result in business-destroying costs. Considering the cost to businesses could total the higher of 2% of annual turnover or €10 million, data protection is of paramount importance to small businesses.
How exposed are we in the UK?
At 31%, our vulnerability rating is higher than the Netherlands, Germany, Estonia (30%) and Finland (29%), but the UK is a more likely target for cybercriminals looking to exploit high tech and financial services industries, which are some of the most vulnerable across Great Britain.
Despite a higher level of vulnerability, the UK has one of the largest cyber security talent pools, showing there is time and manpower being dedicated to the protection of our data online.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from IT Security Expert Blog authored by Dave Whitelegg. Read the original post at: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/securityexpert/~3/ykNwVyNhA48/learning-from-big-data-breaches-of-2018.html