Anthem Blue Cross said that as many as 80 million customer records may have been affected by a recent hack. And then in January, Premera announced that as many as 11 million customer records might have been hacked. Interestingly, that transgression actually took place months earlier, in 2014. So that gave the hackers plenty of time to rummage around in customer records.
Executives at Premera stated that they were a victim of a “sophisticated attack.” Hmmm. Time will tell as the FBI investigates the cause and source. I guess companies have to claim that the perpetrators were super cunning (they were) and smarter (maybe not) to outwit the excellent (or not) security systems put in place by major corporations. To counter this thinking, a post recently appeared about a nine year old hacker (not a criminal, thank goodness) giving a presentation at a security conference on how easy it is to hack. If these systems are that easy to hack, we are clearly doing something wrong.
As we mentioned in our previous issue of the brief, the random downloading of ‘free apps’ often is the culprit behind personal and small business hacks. Your information is captured by these firms to provide services to you and others and share your information1—or inadvertently, to criminals.
Cybercrime is not just directed at large organizations or retailers. Thus, it is incumbent upon large and small business executives to take up the challenge and prevent cybercrime rather than pay the huge costs of recovery.