Data Breach, Cyber Alert Monday 2-10-2020 – Malware

Last week, a phishing scam compromised an entire healthcare network, malware impacted productivity, and ransomware attacks become costlier than ever.

train employees how to recognize cyberattacks is underspent in the cybersecurity industry yet 90% of hacks stem from phishing

United States - Tampa Bay Times 

Exploit: Ransomware
Tampa Bay Times: Local news organization

Risk to Small Business: 2.111 = SevereCybercriminals infected Hanna Andersson’s online store with payment skimming malware that collects customers’ personally identifiable information. The breach impacted customers shopping between September 16 and November 11, 2019. The company only identified the breach after being notified by law enforcement, and the consequences were exacerbated because Hanna Andersson failed to follow PCI standards for payment card encryption and CVV management. As a result, the company will likely face both customer blowback and regulatory scrutiny, neither of which will help the business thrive.

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

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Cybercriminals are frequently turning to ransomware attacks to exploit companies that can’t or won’t protect their critical IT. These attacks are relatively easy to deploy, and, for organizations unprepared to defend themselves, they are uniquely expensive. With today’s threat landscape, it’s critical to regularly assess and update your defense posture to meet the moment.

United States - California Healthcare Network

Exploit: Phishing scam
California Healthcare Network: Hospital and urgent care center operator

Risk to Small Business: 1.888 = SevereEmployees fell for a phishing scam that compromised patients’ protected health information (PHI). The company first discovered the breach on June 19, 2019, when it secured accounts by resetting login credentials. However, an additional investigation revealed that patient data was compromised in the breach. The California Healthcare Network is notifying patients of the incident and updating the email security standards, but the real test is certainly still ahead. Healthcare data breaches are the most expensive of any sector, and the company will undoubtedly endure intense regulatory scrutiny because of the sensitive nature of the breach.

Individual Risk: 2.428 = SevereHackers had access to patient data contained in employee email accounts. California Health Network declined to provide specific data categories, but healthcare records often include patients’ most sensitive personal data. The access is limited between June 11, 2019, and June 18, 2019, but the information has now been available for more than six months, so those impacted by the breach will want to work quickly to secure their data. The California Healthcare Network is offering free credit monitoring services to all victims.

Customers Impacted: 199,548

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Most data breaches begin with a successful phishing scam. Every organization has a responsibility to train its employees in defensive best practices, which is a relative bargain compared to the high cost of a data breach. In doing so, organizations transform a known vulnerability into a valuable asset to their defensive posture.

Germany - City of Potsdam 

Exploit: Malware attack
City of Potsdam: Local municipality

Risk to Small Business: 2 = SevereA malware attack forced the City of Potsdam to bring its network entirely offline to prevent further expansion and data exfiltration. As a result, government employees cannot send or receive an email, and most administrative functions are inaccessible. While emergency services remain unharmed, there will be a significant cost for the government, as worker productivity slows, sales opportunities are missed, and recovery efforts eat away at precious resources.

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

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Data breaches continue to become more expensive, partly because the opportunity costs are so high. In the digital age, cyberattacks can render an organization useless, eroding their bottom line and dampening the future financial outlook. Unfortunately, many organizations can’t sustain that level of financial loss and are forced to close their doors. However, a strong defense posture can ensure that your business is ready to thrive amidst today’s evolving threat landscape.

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:

Recovering From a Ransomware Attack is More Expensive Than Ever 

2019 saw a steep rise in the number of ransomware attacks impacting vulnerable organizations. Unfortunately, recovering from these attacks is becoming more expensive than ever. According to a new report, the total recovery cost of a ransomware attack doubled in the last quarter of the year, reaching $84,116.

In some cases, the cost is increasing because cybercriminals demand higher ransoms, but other factors, including hardware replacement, lost revenue, and brand erosion, all contribute to this incredibly high sum.

In addition, the report detailed the latest escalation in ransomware attacks. Cybercriminals are not content with just encrypting data and demanding Bitcoin payments anymore. They are increasingly willing to release company data online, which can provide both a greater incentive for companies to pay the ransomware and add a secondary revenue stream for criminal operations. Taken together, it’s clear that today’s organizations need to reassess their defensive postures as it relates to this escalating threat.

Notably, ransomware always requires an access point and a foothold to encrypt company data. Closing off common loopholes like phishing emails and securing employee accounts with simple, effective tools like two-factor authentication can help ensure that your organization isn’t the next victim of an expensive ransomware attack.


A Note From Kobargo

Canada Plans to Update Its Data Privacy Laws 

Data privacy regulations are becoming par for the course in today’s dangerous digital landscape. In addition to Europe’s tone-setting General Data Protection Regulation, California's Consumer Privacy Act and New York’s SHIELD Act bring robust privacy regulation to the US. Now, Canadian authorities are indicating that they are ready to update the country’s data privacy laws as well.

According to the country’s Privacy Commissioner, David Therrien, Canada wants to update its mechanisms for providing support to individuals and accountability for companies. Currently, two federal statutes regulate data privacy in Canada, and when the country updated their requirements in 2018, the number of reported breaches increased six-fold in the following year.

It’s likely that Canada will continue to update its guidelines, specifically in the area of enforcement. By implementing financial penalties for data security, Canada would more closely align its data privacy laws with other prominent regulations. Collectively, it’s clear that digital platforms no longer operate in a veritable Wild West. Instead, companies are going to need to learn how to achieve and demonstrate compliance with multifaceted privacy laws around the world.


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