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Friday, September 27, 2013

Rash of data breaches highlights need for high-quality security solutions

The need for secure file transfer and other data protection measures was recently highlighted by a rash of major data breaches, all likely conducted by the same cybercrime ring.

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The need for data protection among businesses of all kinds has been well established. After all, firms are now responsible for more data than ever before, and a tremendous amount of this information is of a highly sensitive nature. In addition to intellectual property, most businesses will also possess clients' financial and behavioral information, Social Security numbers and much more.

All of this data is potentially extremely valuable for cybercriminals, who can use it to commit identity theft and fraud, or sell it to competitors. This means that there is a tremendous degree of incentive for cyberattackers to target vulnerable organizations for their digital data. Consequently, firms in every industry need to be well-aware of the threats they face and must take steps to prevent such data loss from occurring.

The need for secure file transfer and other data protection measures was recently highlighted by a rash of major data breaches, all likely conducted by the same cybercrime ring.

Data breaches
As The Huffington Post reported, LexisNexis, Kroll Background America and Dun & Bradstreet all recently announced that they were the victim of cyberattacks, following an initial report from the website KrebsOnSecurity.

According to the news source, the FBI is currently investigating these breaches but has yet to reveal any additional information. However, observers have linked these breaches to a cybercrime ring that sells stolen credit reports, Social Security numbers and other personal data belonging to U.S. residents to the website SSNDOB, where they can be purchased for a relatively low price by interested cybercriminals.

"There are grave implications here from a privacy perspective," said Alex Holden, a cyber forensics expert, the news source reported.

According to a LexisNexis representative, no evidence has yet emerged that consumer data was actually accessed or utilized by the cyberattackers. However, until the investigation is completed, there is no way of knowing for certain what data has been exposed.

Regardless, the simple fact that these data breaches occurred will likely damage each of the affected companies' standing, as businesses and individuals will be less likely to trust these organizations with sensitive information in the future. Reputation damage is widely seen as one of the most severe consequences that firms experience following data breaches, and it can be one of the hardest to overcome.

Data protection
The fact that all three of these organizations were successfully infiltrated by data theft groups emphasizes the need for high-grade data protection solutions for every business. Firms need tools that can keep their information safe at all times. Critically, this includes while the data is in transit. Too often, organizations focus exclusively on protecting data that is being stored and overlook the need to secure information that is being sent and received by authorized personnel within the company.

To this end, firms should invest in high-quality secure file transfer tools. These resources are easy to use and ensure that sensitive corporate data remains protected even while in motion.