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Premera and Target Hacks

Premera and Target Hacks


Hacker trying to hack a computer

As you all have heard about the Cyber-attacks on Premera, Target and Sony to name a few.  In those attacks millions and millions of people’s personal data was stolen.   The Premera attack affected 11 million past and current members.  Social Security numbers, bank accounts and medical records are at risk of being used for identity theft, and fraud.

The Target attack affected over 110 million people, compromising their personal data.  The hackers got the credentials to hack into Target by first hacking a smaller HVAC Company that did work on some of their stores.  The HVAC company said that their “data connection to Target was for electronic billing, contract submission and project management”.  Target is looking at possible losses of $420 million as a result of the breach to pay back banks for replacement of credit cards, fines from the cards, and direct Target service costs, including legal fees, and credit monitoring for tens of millions of customers impacted by the security breach.

So what can you do to prevent such attacks on your business?

      1. Learn what’s most valuable to hackers.  If you are like me you will be shocked that what they want most is your personal information.  I thought credit card information, but they want your personal information to sell to identity thieves.  They actually sell that information for more than credit card information.  When they get access to your e-mail contacts they can send emails saying ‘oh my God, I’m in trouble.  You need to send me $5000.00,’ the scam is much more believable when it comes from somebody you know.
      2. Make sure that your people are using complex passwords or even a sentence that you will remember.  It is a pain to remember passwords I know, but what is the pain to be hacked and have your identity stolen?
      3. If you’re a small business and have lots of customer data in y our system, use desktop encryption systems to ward off hackers – and the consequences of lost data. And just like when cybercriminals hack into your personal email or social media accounts, customers who trust a business owner are more likely to respond to a phishing attack, such as “please log in” email from your doctor that is actually a scam.
      4. Two-Factor authentication:  The way it works is you first use your password, then you receive a text or e-mail with an authorization code to also put in.  This could be looked on as a pain, but usually it only asks for the second authentication if you log in from another computer or city.
      5. Get good malware to help fend off hackers.  Ask your NPI engineer to recommend the latest malware that we are using, and they will be happy to help.

Big companies such as Premera, Target and Sony can survive being hacked, but what would it do to your business if that were to happen?   These companies can take a hit and still survive.  Would your clients stay with you if you had a security breach and leaked their information?

Give NPI a call and we will have an engineer come out and do a free security audit.  After the audit, we will sit down with you to show you where you strong and where you are vulnerable.  It’s not fun, it’s not sexy, but it is essential to run a successful business.  We don’t think that it will happen to us, but what would the impact be if it did?  We all lock our doors before we go to bed, leave the house, or the car when we are at the store, and although it doesn’t guarantee that it will keep bad people from getting in, it is a deterrent.  Why make it easy for criminals to hack your network and put your business at risk, have one of our engineers make sure that you are secure.

Call 253-852-1543 or email