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Hacks, Attacks and Breaches: 12/25/19 – 12/31/19

Suzanne Gassman

Here’s the latest installment of the Hacks, Attacks and Breaches cybersecurity news update. The Logically team provides top cyber security stories every week to keep you up-to-date on the latest news headlines on cybersecurity, hacking, computer security, ransomware and other cybersecurity threats.

United States - The Heritage Company 

Exploit: Ransomware
The Heritage Company: Telemarketing firm

Risk to Small Business: A ransomware attack forced The Heritage Company to temporarily shutter its operations, even after making a ransom payment to release their critical IT infrastructure. IT admins were unable to use the decryption key to access company data, resulting in the company’s CEO notifying employees that they would not be able to return to work until at least January 2nd. The attack has already cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. If they can’t recoup their valuable information, it’s possible that this ransomware attack could permanently cripple their business.

How It Could Affect Your Business: Ransomware can feel like an inevitability in today’s digital landscape, but SMBs have many tools at their disposal to protect their critical information. Notably, ransomware always requires a foothold to infiltrate a company, and this avenue is often achieved through known exploits in legacy systems or phishing scams that induce employees to grant network access to cybercriminals. By addressing these known flaws, companies can improve their defenses against this costly risk.

United States - Ring

Exploit: Accidental data sharing
Ring: Video doorbell and security camera maker

Risk to Small Business: Security researchers discovered Ring users’ account credentials posted on the Dark Web. The information could provide hackers with front door access to customer accounts. Given the sensitive nature of their business, this type of access could be especially problematic for users. Moreover, the episode is the company’s second cybersecurity incident this year, which raises questions about their efficacy in an industry that demands excellence when it comes to data security and privacy.

How it Could Affect Your Business: Ring is aware of the consequences of failing to embrace data security as a top priority. As a result of multiple data security instances and allegations of weak data privacy standards, Ring has endured significant brand erosion, and these episodes continue to degrade their competitive advantage. In an industry where customers have many options to choose from, this could be a serious factor in the company’s future financial success.

United States - Center for Healthcare Services

Exploit: Ransomware
Center for Healthcare Services: Mental health and substance abuse services provider

Risk to Small Business: A ransomware attack disabled a server for the Center for Healthcare Services, and IT administrators brought the entire network offline to prevent information from spreading. The company was forced to put paper signs on the doors reminding employees not to turn on their computers, and services were mostly unavailable over the Christmas holiday. The healthcare services provider is soliciting support from the FBI and other agencies to help identify the attacker and restore their services.

How It Could Affect Your Business: Unfortunately, once ransomware takes root, companies are guaranteed to pay a hefty sum to restore their services and operations. Whether paying hackers to decrypt information or hiring cybersecurity specialists to restore from backups, the price tag can be enormous. When coupled with the opportunity costs that accompany system outages, the ROI on preventative measures becomes obvious in the face of ransomware and other attack vectors.