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The Verkada Breach: A cautionary tale

The Verkada Breach: A cautionary tale

If you have been following my and SSN Editor Paul Ragusa's blogs, you know how much we have been stressing hypervigilance on the cybersecurity front, because there is just so much to lose.

The news from Bloomberg this week that Verkada was the victim of a breach by hackers who were able to access live and archived footage from 150,000 security cameras inside Verkada customers' facilities, as well as its own offices, is just another example of why any company, regardless of size, can fall victim to such a damaging attack.

This is why it is more important than ever to ensure that any data, including video/cameras as was the case here, is not compromised in any way.

Businesses that fall victim to cyberattacks not only hurt themselves, sometimes at catastrophic levels, but also the customers they serve. Whether a company’s data is stolen for malicious intent or inadvertently left unprotected and exposed for cyber criminals, either way, the consequences are far-reaching and devastating.

Just off the top of my head, knowing that media giants like Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter are not immune to data breaches means that hackers could attack any organization at any time, with millions and even billions of customers’ personal data at risk for exposure.

Think about that. Billions of people’s passwords and other personal information, such as names, email addresses, street addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers and dates of birth are exposed by cyber criminals because due diligence was not given to implement the proper cybersecurity measures in order to prevent breaches of such magnitude.

How serious is the data breach problem? A report released by Atlas VPN just last month stated that the number of leaked data records worldwide hit a whopping 37 billion in 2020, representing a 140 percent increase from 15 billion records in 2019.

According to the report, the most commonly exposed type of data were names, which were leaked in 46 percent of data breaches in 2020, with email addresses compromised in 32 percent of incidents last year.

To break it down by industry, the report stated that healthcare faced the most hacks in 2020 – 484 – which represented 12 percent of all breaches last year. The information sector was second highest with 429 hacks, representing 11 percent of data breaches last year, and the finance and insurance industry was third with 382 hacks, representing 10 percent of 2020 breaches. Overall, 60 percent of breaches were reported within the United States.

What these staggering numbers show is that companies in the private and public sector must be hypervigilant in order to prevent this alarming trend of cybersecurity incidents, such as last year’s SolarWinds breach, as well as recent reports that there were exploits found in Microsoft’s Exchange Server software that reportedly led to more than 30,000 U.S. governmental and commercial organizations having their emails hacked.

Throw in the fact that more and more people are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it makes it absolutely imperative that cybersecurity precautions are in place to prevent business and personal data from being hacked.

The threat of cyberattacks is not going away anytime soon, as we saw just this week with Verkada, and data privacy must be a priority. The investment in cybersecurity will be well worth it, compared to the cost of a data breach.


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