Data Breach, Cyber Alert Monday 10-28-2019

 Last week, ransomware will cost companies critical revenue, repeat offenders put customer loyalty at risk, and businesses fail to account for the risks of compromised employee credentials.


United States – Alphabroder

Exploit: Ransomware attack
Alphabroder: Promotional product supplier

Risk to Small Business: 1.555 = Severe: A ransomware attack temporarily halted Alphabroder’s processing and shipping platform. Since the ransomware prevented the company from executing orders, Alphabroder was forced to make a statement on social media and interrupt most business processes. Alphabroder did subscribe to cybersecurity insurance to help offset the costs, but the reputational damage and long-term infrastructure costs can be difficult to quantify and are capable of significantly dampening the company’s financial prospects in the near term.

Individual Risk: No personal information was compromised in the breach.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to profit from businesses’ IT vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, these bad actors only have to execute their strategy once to inflict incredible long-term damage to a company. This complicated threat landscape makes it especially important that businesses regularly assess their cybersecurity stance to ensure that they are ready to defend whatever comes their way.

United States – Stripe

Exploit: Phishing attack
Stripe: Online payment processing company

Risk to Small Business: 1.888 = Severe: Hackers are deploying fake and invalid Stripe support alerts to engage customers and procure user credentials. After clicking on the fictitious support alert, users are prompted to enter their bank account information and user credentials on a fake customer login page. This isn’t the first time that Stripe customers have been targeted in phishing attacks, and such attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and prevalent.

Individual Risk: 2.428 = SevereGiven that Stripe is an online financial platform, users can easily be tricked into providing their most sensitive personal data to cybercriminals. It’s unclear if any Stripe customers have fallen for this phishing scam, but any users who responded to one of these malicious messages had their personal data compromised. They should immediately report this to Stripe and their other financial institutions, and they should take steps to ensure their data’s long-term integrity.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Cybersecurity has taken center stage among customers and employees, and both are demonstrating an unwillingness to work with companies that can’t protect their information. Especially for companies operating in a crowded and competitive market, top-shelf cybersecurity standards are a prerequisite to a thriving business model

United States – Pitney Bowes Inc. 

Exploit: Malware attack
Pitney Bowes Inc.: Mail management company

Risk to Small Business: 2.111 = Severe: A malware attack prevented Pitney Bowes’ employees and customers from accessing critical services. The company, which specializes in mail management, lost business directly as a result of the attack. Customers were unable to refill postage or upload transactions on their mailing machines. In addition, news of the announcement sent the company’s shares down 4%, which underscores the many ways that a cybersecurity incident can negatively impact a company’s bottom line.

Individual Risk: No personal information was compromised in the breach.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Regardless of the attack methodology, cybersecurity events are incredibly costly for companies. In this case, Pitney Bowes was punished by investors, lost revenue opportunities, and endured reputational damage that will have long-term implications for the company. Given the high cost of recovery, pursuing robust cybersecurity services is a bargain.

United Kingdom – Sonic Jobs

Exploit: Exposed database
Sonic Jobs: Job recruitment website

Risk to Small Business: 2.111= SevereAn exposed database revealed the personal information of thousands of job seekers. Sonic Jobs, which partnered with Amazon Web Services for its database, failed to change the database configuration to private, meaning that all users could view the details of job applicants and anyone who knew the locations of the servers could have downloaded the information.

Individual Risk: 2= SevereThe exposed data was provided by job seekers, and it includes their names, addresses, contact information, and work experience. This information can quickly be sold on the Dark Web, where it can be used to facilitate other cybercrimes including phishing and identity scams. To protect themselves, anyone impacted by the breach should enroll in identity monitoring services while also being especially critical of unusual or unexpected communications.

Customers Impacted: 29,202

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: In its response, Sonic Jobs cited its limited resources as one reason that the database’s configuration went undetected. Unfortunately for the company, consumers and global regulators don’t look at this metric when deciding how to respond to a data breach. Given the enormous financial and reputational costs of a data breach, acquiring the services to assess and secure your cybersecurity landscape is a no brainer.

Risk Levels:
1 – 1.5 = Extreme Risk
1.51 – 2.49 = Severe Risk
2.5 – 3 = Moderate Risk
*The risk score is calculated using a formula that considers a wide range of factors related to the assessed breach.

In Other News:

Canadian Companies Victimized by Uptick in Ransomware 

2019 has seen a precipitous increase in the number of ransomware attacks reaching SMBs, government agencies, and educational institutions. These attacks, which consist of encrypting a company’s files and then demanding a ransom payment, are becoming especially common among institutions that lack the resources to continually defend against the devastating attack vector. 

Now, that reality is hitting Canadian businesses especially hard, a noteworthy development for a country that has often managed to avoid being victimized by such threats.

According to a recent survey, 88% of Canadian organizations experienced some type of data breach in the past year, and 82% noted an increased attack volume during that period. However, in that survey, ransomware only accounted for 14% of these breaches. Since then, a string of Canadian healthcare companies, small businesses, and government organizations have been targeted. Some are speculating that the malware’s success in other countries, including the U.S., has encouraged cyber criminals to broaden their horizons.

Regardless of the intention, with ransomware widely available for lease on the Dark Web, businesses shouldn’t expect these attacks to abate any time soon. Rather, they should continually review and update their cybersecurity posture to ensure that their infrastructure is capable of defending against the latest ransomware strains.

A Note From Kobargo.

Businesses Underestimate the Threat of Stolen Employee Data 

While every business is busy finding ways to protect their customers’ data, a recent survey found that many are not paying attention to the threat posed by stolen employee data. Only 11% of respondents reported believing that compromised employee credentials like usernames and passwords pose a high risk. 

However, the reality is that years of extensive data breaches have resulted in employee information being readily available on the Dark Web. Even more, hackers are leveraging tactics like credential stuffing attacks to access company networks undetected.

By failing to account for the entire threat landscape, businesses are opening themselves up to additional data exposure vulnerabilities that involve customer information.

Fortunately, companies can be proactive about identifying compromised credentials. Dark Web monitoring services alert businesses when their employee information is available for sale, providing them the opportunity to safeguard information before it is used against them.

Contact Kobargo Technology Partners to schedule a free consultation today!



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