3 Lessons Business Leaders can Learn from the T-Mobile Data Breach

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Earlier this year, a T-Mobile reported a cyber attack and massive T-Mobile data breach that led to the theft of millions of people’s personally identifiable information, including names, addresses, birth dates, social security numbers, driver’s license details and the unique codes of mobile devices.

According to court filings, approximately 76.6 million people had their data exposed, but T-Mobile has claimed the compromised data was only about 850,000 people. There is currently no proof that the hackers were able to steal data related to financial information or credit card information.

However, there is a significant risk of identity theft and fraud due to the sheer volume of the data breach. Business leaders should be aware of the importance of cybersecurity and take steps to protect their customers’ data. For businesses, data breaches can have serious consequences that can damage their reputation and make them pay costly fines.

How did the T-Mobile Data Breach Attacks Happen?

T-Mobile Data Breach: man using a laptop and having a data breach problem

This data breach is a serious issue for both T-Mobile and its customers. In an interview, the attacker claimed that he was able to get access privileges by compromising a few employees’ devices and used them to steal sensitive data from other systems as a result of insufficient security measures in critical infrastructure sites.

In a data center close to East Wenatchee, Washington, he was able to access more than 100 of the company’s servers by exploiting new vulnerabilities in the system. He needed approximately a week to get past security and the protecting systems and reach the servers that held millions of sensitive information files.

The hacker took the data of millions of users and employees, but claims the attack wasn’t to extort money from T-Mobile. The cyber attacks meant to highlight the vulnerabilities in the data security strategy, and showcase how easily “secure” sensitive information was stolen.

What can be Learned From These Data Breaches?

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Cybersecurity risks and data leaks can seriously harm your reputation and financial results. Having a reliable cybersecurity partner to protect your data is essential. Greenloop offers a comprehensive variety of cybersecurity services, including protection from malware attacks, cybersecurity threats, data leak and breach prevention, and more. In this blog post, we’ll examine the T-Mobile data breach and the lessons that business leaders can take away from this attack ?

1. Protect your Sensitive Data

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In every situation, hackers search for the most basic weakness they can find to infiltrate your network. This implies that they won’t necessarily attempt to waltz in the front door. The burglar in the T-Mobile data hack gained access to the system by exploiting a weakness in an API.

When trying to breach organizations’ security systems, an attacker will go for the weak points. Understanding how the attacker gets in is the first step. There are four typical methods used by hackers to enter systems:

    • Malware infiltration
      It’s a type of malicious software that is designed to enter an organization’s network without its consent or knowledge. Once inside, it can exploit vulnerabilities to cause a security breach, resulting in data loss, extortion, or the crippling of network systems.
      A malware data breach can be devastating to an organization, as they can lead to significant financial losses, reputational damage, and the loss of other assets. As such, it is essential for organizations to take steps to protect themselves from these threats. This includes investing in security software and partnering up with an experienced provider of cybersecurity services, like Greenloop.
    • Phishing
      Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that involves tricking someone into handing over personal data. It’s commonly used to target login credentials and credit card numbers, but can also be used to gain access to secure networks. Phishing attacks are often carried out by email or text messages. The message may contain a link that takes the victim to a fake website designed to look like the real thing. Once the victim enters their login details or other information, the attacker then has access to their account.
    • USB traps
      USB traps are hardware devices that contain a HID spoof. HID spoofing keys use specialized hardware to fool a computer into believing that the USB key is a keyboard. By doing this, the data on the computer is exposed and can be breached. USB traps are used to gain unauthorized access to data and networks. It is important for users to be aware of the threats that USB traps pose. When data is breached, it can result in fraud, and other malicious activity. By understanding the dangers of USB traps, users can better fight and prevent these cyberattacks.
    • Mobile attacks
      As we’ve become increasingly reliant on our mobile devices, it’s no surprise that security threats are on the rise. Mobile attacks now account for more than 60 percent of digital fraud, from phishing attacks to stolen passwords. And using our phones for business such as banking makes cyber security even more essential.

2. Train Your Workforce on Security Measures

Errors happen, they are inevitable and unavoidable. However, reducing the likelihood of human mistake is absolutely necessary and forms the basis of any comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Given that data breaches cost companies $5 million on average, this is an area where all businesses should strive to do better and invest in cybersecurity solutions.

Employee carelessness, such as the unintentional loss of devices, using the same passwords to access multiple accounts, or the online misplacing of document records and files, are to blame for 47% of all data breaches. By educating employees and equipping them with the devices and knowledge they need to stay protected online, you can help reduce the chances of a digital attack. You can also seek expert help from a reputable IT consulting services provider who is knowledgeable about how to mitigate this type of cyber attack.

While no security measure is 100% effective, making employee training a priority can go a long way in protecting your company from malware, cyber threats and costly security breaches. By taking steps to reduce human error, you can make it much harder for attackers to target your company.

3. Lead from the Top Down

These high-profile hacks of recent years have helped executives become more aware of the dangers of digital attacks and the need for company-wide cyber security protocols. For instance, the Equifax 2017 data breaches caused the heist of personal data of about 150 million people and have garnered media attention ever since.

As the threat and frequency of cyber attacks rise, senior decision makers in the organization must get more involved in cyber security, invest more in new technologies, secure networks and put policies in place from the top down. 2019 saw a progression in this trend, with 39% of directors and 54% of executives being educated about and actively involved in developing remedies to data breaches.

By educating themselves on common data breach methods and investing in proper IT solutions and best practices, executives can help mitigate the risk of a costly breach. The involvement of C-suite executives is essential because in order to demonstrate that organizations are serious about data protection, it must have support from the top.

Investing in Cybersecurity

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For business leaders, cyber security is one of the most pressing issues they’re facing today. The reason for this is simple: as our reliance on technology has grown, so too has the importance of protecting our electronic information from hackers and other cyber threats. Data breaches can quickly erode customer and investor trust, particularly at critical times in a business’s lifecycle.

This is where Greenloop comes in. We provide vital cybersecurity protection and solutions for our clients, keeping their minds at ease in the knowledge that their IT infrastructure is being monitored and maintained by our cybersecurity experts.

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