The Current State of Cyber Breaches in 2016

With the constant threat of confidential information potentially getting compromised due to even the simplest slip-ups, more and more companies are looking into ways to secure their most sensitive data. While many are educating both their employees and their clients on how to keep their credentials safe, others are creating secured cloud-based solutions that allow you to have full visibility at all times, thus ensuring that you can catch hackers in real-time. This is an especially crucial feature to have since, in some cases, breaches may not be detected until over a month after the fact, as was the case with some of the biggest breaches in 2015. Given the lessons learned from the events of the last year, how well is the digital realm faring with regards to keeping their databases secure now?

More Cyber Attacks = More Impact?

As of July 2016, at least 43 cyber breaches have been reported, according to information provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That is a slightly higher number than that of mid-year 2015, which recorded a total of 37 attacks. While that may seem to indicate, at first glance, that these hacking incidents are getting worse, there is one other factor that may turn this fact right on its head. Though there were more incidents this year, there were fewer persons affected as a whole. On the other hand, the number of people who were affected by last year’s attacks is much, much higher. There were over 93 million individuals who had their sensitive data compromised in mid-2015, compared to the 2.7 million people who were impacted in mid-2016.

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The large discrepancy can be credited to the fact that two of the compromised companies happened to be Anthem and Premera Blue Cross, two of the largest healthcare providers in the U.S. Combined, their clients add up to a total of nearly 90 million individuals, which makes up a majority of the 93 million who were hacked this time last year.

What Can Be Done Within Enterprises

Though companies that provide online services are doing their utmost to combat these attacks, there is only so much that can be done from their side of things. A crucial point that has to be addressed is the fact that many of these attacks occur due to even the slightest negligence on the part of those who are in charge of the very systems being targeted. For instance, the Anthem breach was not immediately detected because the suspicious processes were being carried out using the credentials of a verified user. One has to ask: how did an outsider get their hands on such important information? It is highly likely that one employee fell for a phishing scam by an unknown hacker. Said employee could have unknowingly handed over his or her login and password, thinking it was to patch a security gap, only to cause a new one instead. Thus, extra precautions must be taken to educate both clients and staff on properly safeguarding their credentials.

About Author
Osho is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on TecheHow.