More and more, businesses blame cyberattacks on “human error,” that single employee who, either accidentally or maliciously, made a decision that resulted in a security breach. You probably remember the 2017 Equifax breach that exposed over 145 million Americans’ personal information. At the time, the ex-CEO blamed a single employee for failing to install a patch for a vulnerability that the hackers then exploited. But a recent lawsuit argues that the breach was actually the inevitable result of Equifax’s poor cybersecurity practices. How poor? Equifax was protecting sensitive information on a portal to manage credit disputes by using “admin” as both the username and the password.
On Tuesday, May 7, Baltimore city employees came into work to find that their computer screens were locked. “We’ve been watching you for days,” the message on their screens read, “We won’t talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up!” The city of Baltimore had been hit by a ransomware attack; the hackers were demanding $100,000 in bitcoin to release their files.
In 2018 technology touches nearly every aspect of our life. But no innovation seems to come without some form of drawback or compromise. While technology has undoubtedly improved most of our lives, it has also brought new risks that we all find a way to balance – or in some cases choose to ignore. The number of cybersecurity breaches in 2018 speak to this risk.
You might have heard about the ransomware attack against Atlanta this year. A ransomware attack had significant impact on the city, forcing police officers to file reports by hand and city workers to report via time sheets. Atlanta is currently facing more than $20 million in costs due to the attack.