In November 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment was the target of a large scale cyber attack that led to the release of an array of confidential information about its staff and the company. Personal details about employees and their families, including 47,000 social security numbers, along with private emails, executive salaries and copies of yet-to-be-released films all made their way into the public forum.
It was juicy gossip about celebrities and a demand from the hackers to pull the release of the controversial comedy The Interview that dominated headlines. Perhaps, drawing focus away from the shocking question of how such a huge corporation like Sony could fall victim to an attack of this kind.
Where did they do wrong?
It was revealed after the investigation that the company had important information stored within Microsoft Excel files that were not password protected. In a workplace where computers are linked up to the Internet (so, most likely all computers), this should never have been the case.
There were also multiple copies of these spreadsheet files, meaning they were saved more times than was really necessary. This hugely increases security risks, as a successful hacker has much more opportunity to come across the kind of sensitive information they’re after once they’ve got in. It’s a case of reducing your sensitive data footprint via a reduced number of copies and a minimal number of employees with access to the files.
Why you should take note
Seeing a major business fail to have sufficient information protection is a wake-up call to businesses of all sizes. Another major lesson learnt is that passwords and the documents protected by those passwords should not be stored in the same place. You should also never be storing healthcare and financial details in the same place either.
Investing in trusted security is absolutely essential and is the best method for prevention next to basic common sense and a proactive attitude to keeping things safe. The network security with Dell offer secure and effective protection that you can depend on, so look into your options and don’t go in blind.