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Cyber Security Lessons from the LinkedIn Data Breach

One of the most jarring experiences that can happen to a company is discovering that your data has been breached. Organizations and businesses of all kinds collect and store a great deal of confidential information on computers and networks. They send that data multiple places, supposedly safe, but cyber attackers and hackers have only gotten smarter and more frequent over the years. A Senate hearing in 2013 revealed that cyber attacks and digital spying were the top threat to national security.

So, how do you protect yourself against this danger? By having a cyber security plan in place, that’s how. Cyber security, focuses on protecting computers, networks, programs and data from unintended or unauthorized access, change or destruction. Without the proper cyber security, you can never know if your hacked information will be safe again. This fear could follow you for years. For example, in 2012, LinkedIn experienced a security hack where their data was breached. Passwords for nearly 6.5 million user accounts were stolen, and owners of these hacked accounts were no longer able to access their information.

This hack is still causing problems today. On May 17, 2016, data from this 2012 hack was becoming available online. LinkedIn quickly took action to invalidate the passwords of all the accounts they thought were at risk. The accounts they focused on were the ones that were created before the 2012 breach and hadn’t changed their passwords. They started using automated tools to attempt to identify and block any suspicious activity on the site. In addition, since the breach, they have attempted to strengthen their security by implementing salted hashes to store passwords. They offer a two-step verification (or two-factor authentication) option to their members as well.

If LinkedIn had had a proper cyber security plan in 2012, they wouldn’t have gone through all this trouble. Take this example to show you the importance of cyber security. Even four years after the hack, LinkedIn wasn’t safe from the dangers of hacking. Your clients entrust your business with all kinds of personal information. If your network is hacked and that data is made public, you will lose their trust, and your business. Hackers can target anyone. Contact us  and we will help asses your environment and develop a security strategy just for you.