By now, you have most likely heard about the Russian crime ring that allegedly stole 1.2 billion user names and passwords. But just in case you didn’t catch that news thread… yes, you read correctly, 1.2 billion user names and passwords! While the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continues to investigate what appears to be the largest data compromise of its type in history, the extent and intent of the breach is still not known. What is known however, is that cyber-attacks are increasing and look to continue. Over the past few years, we have seen several high-profile security breaches. Large-scale companies such as JP Morgan Chase, TJ Maxx, Target, Epsilon, Sony, Zappos, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, and White Lodging (which includes the Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Westin hotel chains), have been victims of cyber breaches. However, this security epidemic has also hit local companies close to home as well. In mid-August, McKenzie-Willamette Hospital in Springfield reported that they believe they were a security victim of hackers in China. While the hospital does not believe that medical information was gained, they do believe that names, addresses, birthdates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers were compromised.
Sometimes these security breaches are considered “inside jobs” or acts of carelessness on the behalf of the keepers of information. Other times these breaches come in the form of hackers, phishing schemes and computer viruses. Even the CEO of a well-known identity protection company, the company who offers a $1 Million Total Service Guarantee was hacked and his information used.