Internet Technology (IT) Services and Support
The recent data breach at Sony Pictures was not the first for American companies, but it was the biggest breach of confidential information in the history of the Internet and raises questions for anyone who has ever recorded personal information on any Internet website.
The Sony breach was initially detected on Sony’s PlayStation Network, which is a service that allows video game users to connect to each other on the Internet. After Sony officials realized that someone had transferred data off the PlayStation Network, they shut down the site and began the painstaking process of assessing the damage.
Investigation into the breach revealed that the hacker(s) had stolen passwords and other personal information from over 70 million accounts, which was later updated to over 100 million accounts, approximately 12 million of which included credit card numbers which were unencrypted. Encryption simply means using a coded system of storing information, which makes stealing that information much more difficult. Sony’s data was unencrypted and, therefore, vulnerable to hacking.
Unfortunately, hacking personal information can take all forms. Credit card information is not the only vulnerable aspect of business because theft of a company’s confidential information regarding contracts, salaries and benefits can literally turn a business upside down or cause its destruction altogether.
Since Sony is still investigating the data breach, company officials have revealed very little about what actually happened or how they intend to fix the problem that allowed the invasion in the first place. Big companies like Sony employ individuals who are well versed on IT support and services who will find the problem and figure out how to fix it.
If the Sony breach has taught us anything, it’s that companies need a professional I.T. consulting firm, such as Eyes Everywhere, for technical support and IT support in order to protect valuable information that hackers work hard at stealing on a daily basis. This is not just simply to secure the server against viruses, hackers and intruders (internal or external), but also to ensure proper configuration and hardening. We should also scrutinize more carefully payroll and other outside services, including those that are “cloud based,” that maintain our information, files and documents that are supposedly secure since we have no inkling as to the level of knowledge of their personnel about IT services and support. Last, but not least, we should be prepared by devising both a disaster recovery plan and a public relations strategy for dealing with these types of invasions, should they occur.
Cyber criminals have become much more sophisticated, widespread and determined and American businesses need competent IT services and support in order to stay on top of these threats and protect them from expensive, legally required credit monitoring services for those whose information was stolen. Employing reliable IT services and support will go a long way towards protecting your company’s reputation and valuable information with which its entrusted and preventing a data breach, like those against Target, Sony and others that have been detrimental to their business operations.