Hacks, Leaks Top Reasons For Global Data Losses

Contributor: Jason Koestenblatt
Posted: 04/19/2017
Smartphone Hack
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“There are two kinds of big companies in the United States. Those who’ve been hacked, and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked.”

That gloomy thought was provided by FBI Director James Comey, and looking at the most recent data loss records on a global scale, he’s very accurate.

According to informationisbeautiful.net, not only is the number of breaches escalating year over year, but the amount of records being hacked or stolen is flying into the millions as the world becomes ever-more connected.

In 2016, companies like social media platform MySpace saw a hack that compromised 164,000,000 records, as web behemoth Friend Finders Network – the parent company for Adult Friend Finder and Penthouse.com – saw more than 412,000,000 million records breached. Hackers didn’t just go after companies with low-hanging fruit for passwords and other contact information; websites for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and ride-hailing service Uber saw records breaches of 5,000,000 and 50,000 respectively.

So how does this impact the enterprise? Each one of the breached sites in 2016 has a mobile app, and it’s likely your employees have accessed one or more of those sites from their personal or corporate device. A recent report showed 85-percent of mobile hacks came via smartphone, far ahead of tablets and laptops.

This is where security becomes a top priority for enterprises who are unable to have full visibility into their employees’ mobile device usage, whether it be through web or app browsing or some form of shadow IT.

The options come down to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or COPE (Corporately Owned, Personally Enabled), and how the organization sees its liability posture in those platforms. Analysts have told Enterprise Mobility Exchange COPE is inherently more secure, as IT can dictate what is and isn’t allowed on the device. But BYOD brings a more flexible approach to the employee, leading to higher worker satisfaction.

Of the potential variations in which an organization could be breached, including: accidentally published, configuration error, hacked, inside job, leak, lost/stolen computer, lost/stolen media, poor security, and vulnerability, hacked and leak led the way with as the source for more than 95-percent of the breaches.

Further, the chart showed poor security accounted for just 14 breaches of more than 30,000 records in the last 12 years. The bottom line proves to be, again, that security in enterprise mobility can never be strong enough, as the organizations that built powerful protections against hackers were still compromised, and in large swaths. 

Jason Koestenblatt
Contributor: Jason Koestenblatt