If you’re like most business owners, you fear that your company will be the victim of a cyber breach.
As an individual, you’re tired of hearing about data breaches — especially those that took place in major corporations that have a lot of resources to spend on cybersecurity.
If you’re a security expert, you know that hacking is bound to happen.
Here, we take a closer look at the three latest data breach cases to answer, “Why is data security important?”
Toyota Discloses Another Breach — 260,000 Users Affected
The latest cyber incident at Toyota compromised the data of over 260,000 users. Customer information such as features of vehicles, mapping data from navigation systems, names, and addresses of customers worldwide were compromised.
This is the second breach that has occurred to the car manufacturing giant. Earlier in May 2023, the company disclosed that it was part of a decade-long breach. From 2013 to 2023, the car locations of as many as 2,150,000 Toyota car owners were exposed online.
The investigation of the first breach uncovered the second incident that exposed even more user data from February 2015 to May 2023.
So, what happened?
The same thing as with the first. Malicious actors exploited misconfigurations within the cloud environment. Two errors in the configuration of the cloud have been leaking data of Toyota vehicle owners for the past seven years.
What can we learn from the Toyota breach?
Data security starts with the protection of the entire attack surface of a company. Every remote worker’s devices, cloud environment, account, and database holding sensitive data have to be guarded and patched up.
Security must be continually managed in real-time so that teams can discover threats early and react on time.
JD Group Compromises Data of Over 500,000 Customers
On May 31, 2023, the retail company JD Group shared that they suffered a data breach affecting over 500,000 of their users. Some of the stores included in the breach are HiFi Corp, Incredible (Connection), and Rochester.
The CEO, Peter Griffiths, said that the personal customer data that was compromised included ID numbers, names, home addresses, and contact information. However, no banking data or passwords were exposed in the breach.
The company is currently investigating the incident and improving its security to prevent similar incidents in the future. Also, it warns customers to watch out for signs of phishing attacks.
What happened, exactly?
It came to light that hackers gained illicit access to the system after the data was already posted on hacking forums. On May 27, 2023, the hackers shared that they have files of over 500,000 JD Group customers.
What can we take away from this data breach?
As more and more companies collect data from their customers (even in the e-commerce space), it’s necessary to have strong security and data management tools that can keep track of who has access to data at all times.
Data of 8.9 Million MCNA Patients Exposed in Breach
At the end of May 2023, Managed Care of North America (MCNA) suffered a ransomware attack that escalated to a major data breach. Home addresses, Social Security and insurance numbers, as well as driver’s license data, were exposed.
After gaining unauthorized access to the systems of the medical insurance provider, the hacker downloaded the sensitive data of 8.9 million patients.
This cyber incident is regarded as one of the worst cases of medical cyber incidents of 2023.
How did the ransomware attack occur, and who was behind it?
A Russian ransomware group known as Lockbit took credit for this incident. They targeted MCNA with file-locking malware and demanded ransom. MCNA refused to pay the $10 million ransom.
What is there to learn from the MCNA breach?
Companies that have to manage the confidential data of their users have a great responsibility to keep it safe from hacking. Although the company reacted promptly, the patients whose data was exposed in this breach are likely to be targets of fraud.
Why Data Security Is So Important
First and foremost, data breaches affect customers who use the service of a company. When their sensitive data gets leaked, they are at heightened risk of identity theft.This typically occurs when the victimized company collects and stores large volumes of personally identifiable data. For instance, medical institutions have names, home addresses, Social Security numbers, medical records, and more.
Secondly, there are financial losses for the company to consider. From the criminal investigation to investing in better security following the breach and repairing the issue that led to the security incident itself, the aftermath of the data breach is costly.
The price of a cyber breach is larger for companies that lack prevention measures or tools that can uncover and mitigate the issue early.
The more time a hacker has within your infrastructure, the more damaging the attack is. When the company lacks data management and security solutions, intruders can gain deeper access to the network or extract more files to threaten the company.
Make sure that you have layered security and protect sensitive data before the breach happens.
Then there is the reputation of the company to think about. Customers remember how a company handled a data breach. And they might feel reluctant to choose your service if there is a better alternative available.
For instance, few people will trust LastPass because the breaches were poorly communicated to their users. Don’t leave customers in the dark — especially if you collect their data or secure their passwords.
Being transparent about these serious situations and reassuring people that you’re taking steps that will improve security makes the company look trustworthy, despite the unfortunate circumstances.
That’s why many victimized organizations share everything they legally can in the statements on their website.