Yahoo just announced that they have fallen victim to the biggest data breach in history. It is believed that the account information including names, email addresses, passwords and phone numbers of at least 500 million user accounts were stolen in 2014 by a ‘state-sponsored actor’.
This news serves as a reminder that cybercrime is widespread, and email will always be vulnerable to attacks. This is just one example, and email attacks are increasing and becoming more sophisticated. Dr. Abel Sánchez, Research Director at MIT told Diligent earlier this year “If cybercriminals can profit from penetrating your system and gaining access to your data, they will.” He added, “The most sensitive and most prize-worthy information that exists is at the executive level.”
The biggest risks to this high-value data are people, outdated processes and insecure technology. Using outdated, insecure tools to manage intellectual property, finance and strategic information material puts data at greater risk from a breach.
Our CEO, Brian Stafford said, “You would be surprised how many companies still believe it’s acceptable to send sensitive board documents and conversations over email.”
Communicating this information in an email that goes outside of the company’s firewall can expose the information to a range of cyber-attacks and hacks including phishing, malware, and attacks like Yahoo’s.
Hackers will choose weakest security systems to penetrate because these are the cheapest and easiest to infiltrate. It’s important to remember that it’s significantly more expensive to deal with the fallout of a security breach than it is to invest in infrastructure to prevent and protect company information.
The best way companies and individuals can protect themselves is to adopt a technology solution which is the gold standard for information security management, and most importantly, to keep sensitive material out of email if at all possible!
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