16 Dec 2016

All I Want For Christmas Is Data Security

Another a week, another data security breach (or two).

The Australian Taxation Office outage was the perfect example of why a solid backup and data protection strategy is essential to all businesses. A hardware failure on Monday took the servers down for two days. The ATO’s website and services are now back online, but it’s still searching for one petabyte of missing data. The inconvenience was bad enough, but to lose all this data is every company’s worst nightmare. I asked Google what a petabyte of data looks like to get my head around this incomprehensible figure. Apparently its 52 tonnes of pepperoni pizza or enough space to store the DNA of the US population three times. Let’s hope the ATO finds all that missing data.

And The Data Breach Grew Many Sizes That Day

The week’s other big data breach, the largest in history, actually happened back in 2013. Yahoo! announced that hackers might have stolen data from more than one billion users. This is the second such announcement from the search giant, as it unveiled the possible compromise of up to 500 million accounts in September. The fact that Yahoo! is only just identifying breaches that happened more than three years ago is truly alarming. All businesses need to have a security system in place to identifies breaches as they happen. They need the data to pinpoint the access faults to rectify risks.

In 2016 we saw businesses from every sector become victim to cyber criminals or expose data through human errors. From financial institutions to Trump’s hotel chain to social media platforms to government agencies, this is the year the public become more aware of the data they were sharing and what might happen if it landed in the wrong hands. It highlights for businesses the importance of keeping customer data safe (think the Adult Friend Finder’s breach) and taught us a lesson or two on how to communicate these breaches to the media and those affected.

Your Wearables Know When You’ve Been Bad Or Good

It’s not only large businesses that need to worry about exposing their data. With connected devices on so many Christmas gift list, ESET is warning consumers of the dangers of these gadgets exposing personal data. With the average Australian household owning nine internet-connected devices, including wearables, connected toys and baby monitors, the risk is high.

So what can the less security savvy do to ensure they aren’t in jeopardy? The cyber security company recommends checking security standards before purchase. Some devices will have a privacy policy to protect data such as names, address or phone numbers. Another tip is to check your Wi-Fi is secure – and think about how strong your internet password word is. A final word of advice is to invest in a security solution that will protect all your devices. Hackers can access mobiles or tablets through toys and baby monitors so a simple security pack for multiple devices and operating platforms could keep the whole family safe.

Mike-y The Viral Man

Finally, the biggest excitement this week from Spectrum HQ is that our very own Mike has gone viral in Australia. After Mike’s blog was republished on Mumbrella, it was picked up by various news outlets including news.com.au and The Daily Mail. We are currently holding down the fort here at the busy Mike Frier Press Office to negotiate who will get the world exclusive.

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