No Industry, Organization, Size, or Area Immune to Breach
The 2016 numbers are in, and it’s not a pretty picture regarding data breaches.
Not surprisingly, 2016 turned out to be a very turbulent year for malware and data breach activity. From the early W2 phishing attacks to Yahoo’s late in the year disclosure of perhaps the biggest data theft of all time, the year was full of significant data incidents. The magnitude of the problem is manifest both in sheer numbers and in sophistication.
As I compile the 2016 data from every possible source, including Lastline’s, it’s clear that most researchers agree on at least one thing. There’s wide consensus that every business needs to be on high-alert when it comes to a possible data breach. No industry, organization, company-size, technical platform, or geographic area is immune to the dangers of a major data incident.
In the past, smaller businesses were generally not significant targets. They relished in that knowledge, perhaps neglecting to secure their systems as tightly as they should. Companies with information systems running on Apple, or Linux, took comfort in knowing that most cyber-attacks focused on Windows infrastructures, not theirs. In prior times, some industries were not frequently attacked, so they didn’t have to be as security conscience. Many countries and geographic regions were previously overlooked by major crime organizations. Unfortunately, in 2016 we started seeing these soft barriers to crime fall apart.
During the last 12 months, we’ve seen countries all across the globe report significant data breaches; the first time for a number of them. Small companies have been hit hard with ransomware, regardless of what industry or vertical they are in. Attacks have increased to dangerous levels on virtually all platforms. Whether running Linux, Mac OS, Windows, or Android, there’s now enough bad things going on to warrant an upgrade in security.
Unfortunately, we’ve crossed a threshold where no one is immune to cybercrime. The days when only the big players in the financial, retail, and hi-tech industries need advanced security are long gone. We all need it.
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