Author Gary Hibberd
In 1801, at the Battle of Copenhagen Nelson held his telescope to his blind eye, saying, “Ships? I see no ships” as he disobeyed orders to disengage the enemy. Thankfully (for the British) it was a smart move and he won the battle.
Fast forward to 2016, and news broke yesterday (22nd Sept 2016) of Yahoo’s data breach where 500 million (that’s ½ a billion) email accounts and passwords have been stolen. The breach occurred in 2014 and ‘has only just been discovered’, and ‘Is thought to be a State sponsored attack’.
Turning a blind eye
Now, I already know what you’re thinking; “Poor Yahoo. That’s awful. But hey – no financial data lost, so who cares?!” But wait, you’re missing something and it’s akin to Nelson’s “Breach? I see no Breach!”
If we look at the Yahoo breach as a single event, we might fool ourselves into thinking “Well, nothings happened since 2014, and no financial data has been lost so it’s not going to affect me.”
But wait! Let me throw a few stats out to you, from the Office of National Statistics.
In 2015 in the UK, there were;
• 2,460,000 cases of Computer misuse
• 404,000 cases of hacking or unauthorised access to systems
• 2,057,000 cases of viruses
(Looking at National Crime Agencies figures on cyber-related crime/fraud, the rise is over 48% over previous years)
So there were just over 8 Million cases of computer related crime reported. Did you know there are 5.4 million companies categorised as an SME in the UK? And did you know that according to current statistics, less than 20% of crime is reported, due to lack of understanding (around reporting) or lack of awareness (that a breach has occurred). So cyber related crime is being MASSIVELY under reported.
Putting it together
If you’ve ever met me, you’ll know I speak plainly, so let’s be clear;
• Yahoo was NOT the target – YOU ARE!
• It doesn’t matter if there’s no financial data – All they need is your email and/or password and the phishing and scam attacks can begin
• If doesn’t matter if its state sponsored – Data is valuable and can be sold or used (there’s a lot of countries who are struggling and/or willing to turn a ‘blind eye’ to these events)
• The rise in fraud, the rise in Ransomware, the rise in phishing attacks tells us that SOMETHING happened, SOMEWHERE in 2014 or early 2015 (I wonder what that could have been?!!!)
Don’t look at this attack as a single event, occurring in some kind of ‘vacuum’
Yahoo – What to do
If you want to know more about Cybercrime and what to do about it, education is the key. Educate your business, your kids and yourselves. There’s lots of help out there, and of course we are keen to help you too. If you’re taking Cyber security seriously, then come along to our conference in Leeds, UK on 18th October (www.cybersecurityeurope.com) and you’ll get the full picture on how to prepare for, and respond to these kinds of events.
But my simple advice to you is this; Please don’t ignore the warning signs.
Yahoo being hacked demonstrates that if a company as big as Yahoo can be hacked – then it can happen to you. If large companies are hacked, it’s because they hold the key to allow the ‘bad actors’ to attack the real targets – You and me.
Don’t turn a blind eye to this – You’re not Nelson, but you may find your business becomes history if you ignore the breaches on the horizon.
We are #InThisTogether,
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