A Cyberattack is no longer a question of ‘if’ – it’s a matter of ‘when’. And size is immaterial in the world of cyber-criminality: the issue is vulnerability. If a business or a non-profit organization is an easy target, then size is not important. Hacking and cyber-criminality are a major threat across all sectors of the economy. The latest available figures show that 81% of large organizations and 60% of smaller businesses have suffered a cyber-breach in the last 12 months alone. Further, new analysis of the 2020 vulnerability and threat landscape found that the total number of Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) reported last year was 6% higher than the total reported in 2019. A year-in-review report from Tenable’s Security Response Team found that a total of 18,358 CVEs were reported in 2020.
Data Breaches Resulting in Escalating Costs and Consequences
The current group action lawsuit over British Airways´ 2018 data breach highlights the devastating results of a targeted cyber-attack. Hackers were able to access a wide range of personal information including customer names and home addresses, and potentially compromising financial information such as credit card numbers, expiration dates and CVV codes. Usernames and passwords of BA employee and administrator accounts were also stolen. With over 420,000 passengers thought to be affected in total, each able to claim $2,700 in compensation, BA will face potential liability of over $1B USD.
In the EU, the financial repercussions of a data breach can be significant. Failing to comply with GDPR gives authorities the power to issue fines of up to 4% of an organization’s annual global turnover. Meanwhile, from a reputational standpoint, a data breach has also major ramifications for customer confidence and loyalty.
Size is Not Important to Hackers
Businesses of all sizes and from all industries need to be prepared, as shown by these latest attacks where hackers (successfully) tried to steal personal data:
Data breaches can be far more than a temporary terror — they may change the course of your life. As you have seen, businesses of all sizes and from all industries can experience huge complications from having sensitive information exposed. Whether you are offline or online, hackers can get to you through the internet, Bluetooth, text messages, or the online services that you use. Without proper attention to detail, a small vulnerability can cause a massive data breach.