Data Breaches – What Do They Mean To You?

data breach - eye roll or action?

Data breaches are happening all the time. Every month another story breaks.

How do you react when you hear them?

Do you shrug and think ‘it won’t happen to me’, or does it make you sit up and think about your data security?

Here’s an interesting post we found on BullGuard’s blog that we wanted to share with you.

Data breaches are real

Mega data breaches come so thick and fast and the numbers are so large they become abstract. It’s reached a point where we can’t help but glaze over and often because the numbers are impossibly huge.

It’s easy to visualise 100, 5,000 and even 50,000 hacked data records because we can picture that many people.

Verifications.io data breach

The latest data exposure affected 808,539,849 records and while the preciseness of the number is helpful it’s still an impossibly large number for most people to make sense of.

But wait for it; the exposure figures were revised and now it is believed that 2,069,145,043 total records from all over the world were exposed. That’s over two billion.

The exposed data belonged to a company called Verfications.io. Four databases were compromised. Verfications.io describes itself as an email marketing firm with a particular specialisation in circumventing spam traps and bouncing emails.

We can also describe it as one of those companies that operate in the shadowy data economy, trading in huge quantities of personal user data.

Why it happened

The exposed data breakdown figures from just one database are as follows:

  • Email records – 798,171,891 records
  • Email with Phone – 4,150,600 records
  • Business leads = 6,217,358 records

The records were not encrypted but stored in plain text, and it appears the data, from multiple clients, had been pooled. At the time of writing, Verifications.io website is unavailable which isn’t too surprising.

While it is a leak, rather than a hack, the data could well have been downloaded for future devious use such as phishing emails, scams and payment fraud scams. The data could also be sold on hacker forums in a couple of months from now.

Two billion is still an impossibly large number to grasp but the moral of this data exposure is that cyber security is still far too much of an afterthought for many organisations.

What can you do to protect yourself?

In the face of this relentless deluge, we have to protect ourselves because clearly many of the myriad organisations that hold our personal data don’t do enough to keep it safe.

With this is mind BullGuard Premium Protection is the best form or protection available. It safeguards all your personal information, notifying you immediately if it appears on the internet.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, and surrounding villages.  

Source: BullGuard