Ajit Pai, believed by many to be a Verizon shill, may have attempted to kill net neutrality earlier this year, but that has not stopped Verizon from releasing its report on data breaches. The 2018 report stated that over 76% of all IT-security breaches are motivated by money, according to Forbes Magazine.
The report, which is available online, showed a total of over 53,000 incident and over 2,000 data breeches. Databases, vast storehouses of information, were the most commonly targeted asset. The time period covered by the report includes the Equifax breach. Equifax’s breach occurred because the company had an MS-SQL database servers login name and password both set to admin. Standard cyber security practices require database and system administrators to change the default passwords set up by such systems.
International espionage hacks, despite being high profile news, made up a rather small percentage of the overall attacks. More hackers engaged in corporate espionage than in international espionage. Systems administrators carried out most of the attacks, and it took several months for companies to discover that these attacks occurred.
Verizon researchers found certain industries are more likely to be attacked than others. Health care, Public administration, and retail are the most likely industries to be targeted. News of retailer data breaches occurred every though month throughout 2017. Most of these breeches took months to detect.
Security analysts believe the number of breaches reported does not represent the number of breaches that occurred. Companies and systems administrators often keep such events private. Corporations fear the damage to their public perception that occurs when the news gets out. Systems administrators and security specialists worry about losing their jobs. Major data breeches, such as the one that exposed millions of credit records in 2017, can force the person responsible to quickly generate their resume.
No one can stop all data breaches, and newly minted hackers, also known as script kiddies, often do not cause damage to major systems.
It was a bad day for Mark Zuckerberg and his shareholders of Facebook on Monday. While the tech giant has experienced great success with his company that has left shareholders experiencing significant returns over the last year, there are problems that need to be addressed. There have been a series of controversies such as Russia advertising on Facebook to interfere with the 2016 election and data breaches in user confidentiality.
The Russian Scandal and Data Breach
Both the U.S. Congress and the U.K. Governments have been seeking details on how Russia was able to spread vast amounts of disinformation on the Facebook media platform to sway American voters during the election process. It was additionally discovered that Russia had used the same platform for political purposes outside their country to affect other governmental democratic processes.
Evidence has been uncovered that links Russian intelligence in trying to interfere in other government elections through Facebook in Britain, Italy, Austria and other countries through their platform. These two scandals have caused alarms to be raised over the integrity and safety of the Facebook platform and its ability to protect its users and the public.
On St. Patrick’s Day, the luck of Facebook seemed to wear off for a bit as news headlines broke the story that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked as a consultant to the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign had harvested profile information of 50 million Facebook users. The report was published in the New York Times. On Sunday, lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic party wanted more information from Facebook as to how this could have happened and how they intend to prevent it from happening again. The concern is that this private user information can be used for partisan politics and violates the privacy of users of the Facebook platform.
Because of these consecutive debacles, shares of the social platform giant took a substantial hit Monday, losing 7% of its value in the day’s trading. Zuckerberg who owns 16% of the company’s shares lost $5.1 Billion dollars in the day’s trading. His present net worth after today’s losses are $69.5 billion.
While he is still the 7th richest person on the planet, down from the 5th richest, it could easily be said he must be a bit concerned that one day of trading losses from this data breach could make him lose so much of his wealth. If the trend continued it would certainly be a problem for both Zuckerberg and Facebook.