What Data Breaches Taught Us in 2013

  • Fraud Prevention

As 2013 comes to an end, its time to look back at the biggest security breaches and incidents of the year. Hopefully weve all learned some lessons from these and have been provided a stronger foundation to enhance protection and create a safer online and mobile world for 2014.

Every year the world of technology evolves and improves which calls for stronger defenses against cyber security threats. Fraudsters are continuously adapting to cyber security. Data breaches in 2013 saw cases of criminals holding PCs ransom even trying to plant malware on smart phones via mobile apps.

From LivingSocial to Adobe, some of the biggest names in the digital world were compromised this year, with tens of millions of user accounts and passwords being exposed. Most recently, Target announced the potential number of over 40 million U.S. debit and credit accounts exposed. Along with the card number, the expiration dates and card verification values were exposed. Experts are recommending that banking institutions educate customers about how to protect themselves from any fraud linked to the attack and check their credit report just to be safe.

LivingSocial notified 50 million users in April that their information may have been accessed including names, email addresses, date of birth, and encrypted passwords. The company informed their users to update their accounts and notified via email to change their passwords. It was also recommended to change any similar passwords a user might use on other sites.

On a smaller scale, the Washington State Courts announced that fraudsters accessed up to 160,000 SSN and 1 million drivers license numbers this year. The passwords werent encrypted when they were stored making it easier for fraudsters to access.

In March, Evernote had to reset 50 million passwords after hackers accessed user data containing user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords. While later, Adobe was hacked resulting in tens of millions of customers personal data including usernames and passwords were compromised. The prevalence, and embarrassment, of ID theft in 2013 had a lot of companies going through the process of informing and protecting their users from breaches. The Lexis Nexis, Dun & Bradstreet and Kroll Background America breach proved that almost anyone could have their data compromised.

In the coming year, we see fraudsters specifically targeting mobile devices. A large amount of consumers are dependent on their devices and don't take basic precautions to protect themselves. These mobile breaches can affect your company, specifically in relation to banking institutions and individuals in the payments industry. It can take months to discover a breach or recover from fraudulent activity. Taking every precaution is going to reduce your risk of threats and breaches.

Good luck in the coming year and, as always, feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your verification and authentication solution for the New Year.

[Contributed by EVS Marketing]