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The Importance of Cybersecurity for Businesses

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Cybersecurity is a growing field, where there are always new advances being made. Security forces continue to rapidly evolve in our technological world. Cybersecurity is the way of protecting electronic data which can be accessed through various networks and technology. Cybersecurity also protects from the access of unauthorized users from our email passwords, internet network, and the bank’s security on online banking. The reliance on electronic systems and networks has accelerated throughout history. We are in a digital era where is it important to be knowledgeable about how to protect ourselves and others. However, no one is immune to cyber-attacks and we must acknowledge this. Anyone can be attacked at any time. Users and companies need to be diligent in updating their information and keeping people aware. Three breaches occurred in the 21st century that made history in the cybersecurity world. These attacks occurred to three big-time corporations. They were Adobe in 2013, TJX in 2006, and lastly Enron in 2001. Data breaches can happen to anyone at any time.

Adobe is an American computer software company. Their company was attacked on October 3, 2013. This breach caused about 3 million credit card records to be stolen along with the data login information from tens of millions of users (Krebs on Security, 2013). Adobe was reluctant at first to announce the true number of users impacted and did not inform authorities at the time of the breach. Their company made a report that only three million users had been affected. However, the real number was around 38 million. The breach involved the thefts of security codes on various Adobe platforms. These platforms were the Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader, ColdFusion, and Adobe Photoshop. It was determined that Adobe was aware that the security protection their company was using at the time was very poor. “Adobe used the same encryption key for all passwords’ (Krebs on Security, 2013). They had never updated their encryption system and had never dismantled their old server. Because Adobe made this careless mistake “US District Judge Lucy Koh rejected Adobe’s request to dismiss the action because the impact on users was ‘very real’ despite the plaintiff’s inability to prove Adobe failed to inform them of the breach fast enough” (Pauli, 2015). This old server was how the hackers found their way into the Adobe system. The security breach was discovered by a security blogger who had found an anonymous post on a hacking forum (BBC, 2013). These forums can occur on the black web where hackers sell people’s information for a profit. After the attack had occurred Adobe made contact with users whose information was stolen. Adobe just urged its users to change their passwords. Adobe needs to be diligent on these types of updates and protecting its customer’s information. There was no sign that there was unauthorized activity on affected user’s accounts. Adobe had offered a years’ worth of credit monitoring to users whose credit card data was breached in response to the attack. However, it was discovered that there was a chance that the data that was corrupted could allow for hackers to “allow programmers to analyze how Adobe’s software works and copy its techniques” (BBC, 2013). For the future Adobe requires a subscription model. This model would require credit information in order for a user to be eligible for upgrades. This update created a second form of security for users. Adobe was able to update its security force to recover from this attack. However, Adobe had to pay close to 1.8 million dollars (Pauli, 2015) in attorney fees. Adobe agreed to settle the legal battle for an undisclosed amount of money.

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TJX is an American company known for its low-price department store shopping. They had a data breach that occurred in mid-2005. The stores that were affected were T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods. However, at first, this company refused to divulge the true size of its data breach. TJX kept their security information breach for more than two months. No one was identified or arrested for this data breach. TJX should have notified the users that were attacked immediately. The information that was breached was very crucial. If users were identified earlier, it could have saved private information from being stolen. The user could have stalled and notified their banks. The company announced that around 94 million (Vijayan, 2007) credit/debit card numbers were stolen from one of their systems. The data breach was noticed when there was a suspicious software installed on their computer systems. This is how the hacker was able to gain information from the shoppers. This data breach was extraordinary. Data was stolen from various users from multiple countries. These countries include the United Staes, Canada, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, and Ireland. It allowed for access to user’s credit information. “The depositions say fraud-related losses of Visa cards range from $68 million to $83 million and will rise as thieves continue to use data from compromised cards” (Swartz, 2007). This attack caused banks of the users to block and reissue thousands of payments. The attack pushed TJX to update their security systems. They began to mask credit PIN data. They also frequently check transaction information to make sure there is no suspicious activity is occurring. TJX faced numerous lawsuits in conclusion to this data breach. The company paid $5 million (Vijayan, 2007) concerning the breach. However, it is unknown the total amount of money the company was ordered to pay.

Myspace who is an American social networking service, found themselves a victim of a historical attack in 2013. There were around 360 million (Bicchierai, 2016) user account was leaked and sold on the dark web. The data that was breached included email addresses, passwords, and usernames. Myspace wasn’t aware of the attack, so it is unknown when the data was exactly stolen. However, when Myspace was notified of the hack users were kept in the dark for a while. The hackers were identified as Peace and an operator of LeakedSource. The data was uploaded on the black web where it was traded and sold to numerous individuals. “Peace was asking for 6 Bitcoin (roughly $2,800) for the stolen passwords and emails” (Bicchierai, 2016). The passwords were hashed with the ‘SHA1 algorithm’ (Bicchierai, 2016). However, this algorithm is known to be weak and easy to crack. Myspace also did not salt their passwords making it easier to hack. Salting is used in password hashing which makes it harder for hackers to gain access and information. Myspace ordered their user to change their passwords after the attack. The company also updated their algorithms to stop future attacks and started to salt their passwords. In the future, Myspace should be diligent on keeping their users informed when attacks occur. This would create the user to take action and protect their private information.

Data breaches can occur at any moment and to any person. With increasing technology, hacking is becoming more prominent. As we can see, cyber-attacks can be detrimental and has everlasting effects. Information like passwords, credit card access, login IDs, and email passwords can be stolen in the blink of an eye. Big-time corporations must keep up with their security systems. Individuals want to be able to trust companies with their personal information. It is important that we as users are aware of these attacks and that changing our passwords and information can help reduce the impact of the attacks. Adobe who was hacked in 2013 but made great strides to gain the trust of its users again. They updated their security forces and required future subscriptions to be made to gain access to accounts. Companies like TJX updated their PIN data as well as frequently checking transaction history for suspicious activity. Myspace updated their algorithms so it wouldn’t be easy for a hacker to gain access to users’ personal information. These three companies took hard hits to their security forces. But they took action in correcting their mistakes and updating their security for their users. These companies need to admit to their failures and learn from them. We can use these hacking experiences and learn from them for the future. Companies can use these examples to create protective steps and measure when an attack occurs. They should have backup plans created to follow when attacks are made. However due to the technological advances being made daily; cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly important topic. Cyberattacks are becoming more prominent due to access to technology and information. Users need to be aware of in order to protect themselves.

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The Importance of Cybersecurity for Businesses. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-importance-of-cybersecurity-for-businesses/
“The Importance of Cybersecurity for Businesses.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-importance-of-cybersecurity-for-businesses/
The Importance of Cybersecurity for Businesses. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-importance-of-cybersecurity-for-businesses/> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2022].
The Importance of Cybersecurity for Businesses [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 01 [cited 2022 Nov 29]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-importance-of-cybersecurity-for-businesses/
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