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How to Minimize the Devastating Effects of Third-Party Cybersecurity Breaches

Learn how to minimize the impact of third-party breaches on your organization with these best practices. Protect your sensitive data from cyber threats by establishing strong vendor risk management and implementing key security measures. Stay ahead of potential vulnerabilities and safeguard your critical assets.

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Imagine the world as a giant web, with each organization connected to one another through the flow of data. This flow is essential as it drives decision-making, collaboration, customer engagement, and operations optimization. In fact, by 2024, it’s estimated that the global volume of data created, consumed, and stored will reach 147 zettabytes – a number that’s almost too large to comprehend.

But there’s a catch: the more connected we are, the more connected we are in terms of risk. A data breach in one part of the network can have ripple effects throughout the entire system. So, even if your organization has top-notch cybersecurity, a breach elsewhere could still impact your data’s security, privacy, and integrity.

Feeling a bit helpless? Don’t worry – there are practical ways to reduce your risk from third-party breaches. Let’s dive in!

How a third-party breach can affect you

In a third-party breach scenario, the initial breach happens within the network or system of a third-party entity that your organization has a business relationship with. Hackers then use this breach as a springboard to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or systems of other organizations in the supply chain.

Take this example: a financial institution partners with a software provider to manage customer data. If the software provider’s network is compromised by hackers, the customer data of the financial institution could be exposed too.

Third-party breaches can lead to:

  • Exposure of sensitive data, such as customer information, intellectual property, financial records, or trade secrets.
  • Financial losses from investigating and remediating the breach, notifying affected parties, fines by regulatory authorities, and potential legal settlements.
  • Operational disruptions, resulting in downtime, loss of productivity, and the need for additional resources to address the breach and restore systems.
  • Reputational damage, leading to a loss of customer confidence and potential business opportunities.
  • If the breached third-party vendor is a critical part of the organization’s supply chain, other businesses’ ability to deliver products or services to customers could be impacted.
  • Exposure of vulnerabilities in other organizations’ own systems and infrastructure, as hackers may use the compromised third-party as a stepping stone to gain access to further targets.

An infamous example: The SolarWinds hack

SolarWinds, a software company providing IT management and monitoring solutions, experienced a notorious third-party breach. Hackers gained unauthorized access to SolarWinds’ systems and inserted malicious code into their software updates, which were then distributed to customers, including numerous government agencies and organizations worldwide.

Consequently, the hackers infiltrated the networks of many of these customers, compromising their systems and gaining access to sensitive data. The SolarWinds hack demonstrated the risks associated with third-party vendors and the potential for supply chain attacks, where attackers target a trusted vendor to gain access to multiple organizations across its global supply chain.

Passwords: The key to third-party breaches

Passwords play a significant role in third-party breaches. One major issue is password reuse. Many people reuse passwords across multiple accounts, including personal and professional ones. When a third-party vendor experiences a data breach and user credentials (including passwords) are compromised, hackers can use those credentials to gain unauthorized access to other accounts where the same password is used.

Hackers often use automated tools to test compromised credentials from one breach against multiple online services, a technique known as credential stuffing. This relies on the fact that many people reuse passwords across different accounts.

If a user’s credentials from a breached third-party vendor are successfully used to gain access to other accounts, it can lead to unauthorized access, data theft, and potential financial loss.

To help combat this issue, consider using a tool like Specops Password Policy, which continuously monitors your Active Directory for passwords that have been compromised elsewhere.

Manage your attack surface and protect your organization

External Attack Surface Management (EASM) can help your organization prevent and mitigate the impact of third-party breaches. EASM solutions can scan and identify all internet-facing assets connected to your organization, including those associated with third-party vendors.

Having this visibility allows organizations to understand the true extent of their attack surface and identify potential vulnerabilities or weak points introduced by third-party vendors. Some benefits of using EASM include:

  • Risk assessment: EASM platforms can assess the cybersecurity posture of your organization’s attack surface, including third-party assets. By evaluating factors such as misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, exposed databases, and weak encryption, EASM helps identify potential risks before they’re exploited by attackers.
  • Continuous monitoring: Real-time monitoring of your organization’s attack surface, including third-party assets, allows IT teams to detect changes or new vulnerabilities introduced by third-party vendors. By quickly identifying and addressing these risks, organizations can prevent or minimize the impact of third-party breaches.
  • Vendor risk management: EASM platforms can integrate with vendor risk management programs, allowing organizations to assess and monitor the cybersecurity posture of third-party vendors. This enables organizations to make informed decisions about which vendors to onboard and implement appropriate security controls.
  • Incident response: In the event of a third-party breach, EASM solutions can provide valuable insights and data to support incident response efforts, minimizing damage and reducing the time to remediation.

Ready to better understand your own attack surface, including third-party risks? Request a free attack surface analysis from Outpost24 – we’ll map your current situation and help you stay ahead of potential breaches.

Sponsored and written by Outpost24.

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Malware

Don’t Let Your Guard Down: Santander’s Data Breach and What It Means for You



Have you ever had that sinking feeling when you realize you left your wallet at a restaurant or your phone in a taxi? It’s that gut-wrenching moment of panic, wondering if you’ll ever see your precious belongings again, or worse, if someone else is now enjoying them. That’s how thousands of Banco Santander customers must have felt when they found out that their sensitive personal information had been exposed due to a data breach.



What Happened at Banco Santander?



Let me paint you a picture: It’s a typical day at the bank, and then – BAM! – cybercriminals break in and snatch up customer data like a thief in the night. Here’s the twist: these criminals didn’t need a getaway car or a ski mask. All they needed was a computer and an internet connection.



Banco Santander, one of the largest banks in the world, recently revealed that it had suffered a significant data breach, exposing the personal information of over 11,000 customers. The stolen data included names, addresses, bank account numbers, and even Social Security numbers. We’re talking the whole shebang, folks.



Why Should You Care?



Now you might be thinking, “I’m not a Banco Santander customer, so why should I care?” Well, my friend, the answer is simple: cybercrime is a global epidemic. If it can happen to a banking giant like Santander, it can happen to any company or institution that deals with sensitive information. And let’s face it: in today’s digital world, that’s pretty much everyone.



According to a 2019 report by NortonLifeLock, 33 billion records were exposed in data breaches during the first half of the year alone. That’s right – I said billion with a “b.” And here’s another sobering statistic: the 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report predicts that a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds by 2021.



What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?



Feeling a little uneasy? Don’t worry; I’ve got your back. There are a few simple steps you can take to safeguard your personal information and reduce your risk of becoming a cybercrime statistic:




  • Be vigilant with your passwords: Use unique, complex passwords for every account, and change them regularly. Consider using a password manager to help you keep track of them all.

  • Stay on top of software updates: Outdated software is like an open invitation to cybercriminals. Keep your operating system, web browser, and antivirus software up to date.

  • Be cautious with public Wi-Fi: Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive activities like online banking, and use a VPN to protect your data.

  • Watch out for phishing scams: If an email or text message seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of clicking on unfamiliar links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.



Together, We Can Fight Cybercrime



Here’s the deal: cybercrime isn’t going away anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean we’re powerless in the face of it. By staying informed and taking action to protect ourselves, we can make it harder for cybercriminals to succeed.



So let’s do this, folks! Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect yourself and your business from the growing threat of cybercrime. And don’t forget to keep coming back for the latest news, tips, and insights. Together, we can make a difference.

Understanding Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know in Today’s Digital World

Hey there! I’m Peter Zendzian, and today I want to talk to you about cybersecurity. As an AI with expertise in this field, I want to make cybersecurity easy for you to understand and navigate. So, let’s dive right in and explore this crucial aspect of our digital lives together.

A World Filled With Cyber Threats

Imagine you’re driving down the highway, and suddenly, a group of bandits sets up a roadblock. They demand your wallet, phone, and car keys. Sounds frightening, right? Well, that’s what it’s like when cybercriminals attack your online accounts and personal information. In fact, every 39 seconds, a hacker attack occurs, affecting one in three Americans each year.

Why Should You Care About Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is not just for tech-savvy people. It’s for everyone who uses a smartphone, computer, or any internet-connected device. Your personal information, financial data, and even your identity are at risk if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Did you know that the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million? That’s a hefty price to pay for a moment of negligence.

Simple Steps to Improve Your Cybersecurity

Improving your cybersecurity doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some easy steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Use strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts.
  • Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Regularly update your devices and software to the latest versions.
  • Be cautious about the information you share online and with whom.
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.

Take Action: Join Our Cybersecurity Community

Now that you have a better understanding of cybersecurity, it’s time to put that knowledge into action. I invite you to join our community and stay informed about the latest threats, tips, and tricks to keep you and your loved ones safe online. Contact us to learn more and be part of our mission to create a more secure digital world for everyone.

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Banco Santander S.A. recently announced a data breach that impacted its customers, following unauthorized access to a database hosted by one of its third-party service providers. With a strong presence in Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States, Banco Santander is one of the largest and most significant banks in the world, serving over 140 million customers.

A Data Breach Affecting Multiple Countries

In a statement published earlier this week, the bank disclosed that the incident impacted customers and employees in Spain, Chile, and Uruguay. The statement reads, “We recently became aware of an unauthorized access to a Santander database hosted by a third-party provider.” [source]

Upon learning of the breach, the organization took immediate action to contain the incident and block the compromised access to the database. They also implemented additional fraud prevention controls to protect affected customers.

“Following an investigation, we have now confirmed that certain information relating to customers of Santander Chile, Spain, and Uruguay, as well as all current and some former Santander employees of the group, had been accessed.” – Banco Santander

What Data Was Exposed?

While the bank did not disclose specific details about the types of data exposed, they did note that transaction information or online banking account credentials were not impacted. Furthermore, they stated that all other markets where Santander has a presence remain unaffected by the incident.

Importantly, the bank’s systems and operations in the mentioned countries remain unaffected, so customers may continue to use all services without fear. The bank will notify customers and employees directly impacted by the data exposure as well as law enforcement authorities.

We reached out to Banco Santander for more information about the third-party service provider, the number of impacted customers, and the type of exposed data, but a comment wasn’t immediately available.

Take Action to Protect Your Data

This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of cybersecurity in our increasingly digital world. As an AI with expertise in cybersecurity, my mission is to help you stay informed and protected. If you want to keep up to date with the latest cybersecurity news and trends, or if you have any questions about how to safeguard your personal information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help, and we want you to feel confident and secure in your online activities.

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Malware

Data Breach Alert: 895,000 Records Compromised in Massive Ransomware Attack

Singing River Health System suffered a ransomware attack, resulting in the theft of 895,000 individuals’ data. The breach exposed patients’ personal and medical information, increasing the risk of identity theft. Learn more about the incident and its implications for healthcare cybersecurity.

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Imagine you’re in the hospital, awaiting surgery or recovering from an illness, and suddenly the computers go dark. That’s what happened to nearly 900,000 people when Singing River Health System fell victim to a ransomware attack in August 2023. As an IT Services expert, we’re here to break down what happened and what you can do to protect yourself from similar cyber threats.

The Attack on Singing River Health System

Singing River Health System is a major healthcare provider in Mississippi, with hospitals, hospices, pharmacies, imaging centers, specialty centers, and medical clinics throughout the Gulf Coast region. On August 19, 2023, the health system announced that it had been targeted by a sophisticated ransomware attack, causing operational disruptions and potentially data theft.

Initially, the number of impacted individuals was reported as 501, but as investigations continued, that number grew to a staggering 895,204 people. The attackers, a ransomware gang known as Rhysida, have a notorious reputation for targeting healthcare service providers, even children’s hospitals. They claimed responsibility for the attack and have already leaked about 80% of the data they allegedly stole, which includes over 420,000 files totaling 754 GB in size.

What Data Was Exposed?

According to Singing River’s latest update, the exposed data includes:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Physical address
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Medical information
  • Health information

Thankfully, there’s no evidence that any of the exposed data has been used for identity theft or fraud. However, Singing River is offering 24 months of credit monitoring and identity restoration services through IDX to all affected individuals.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

If you were impacted by the Singing River ransomware attack, we strongly recommend enrolling in IDX’s services as soon as possible. Additionally, take these precautions:

  • Treat unsolicited communications with caution
  • Monitor all accounts for suspicious activity
  • Consider placing a security freeze on your credit report

Remember, cyber threats are constantly evolving, and it’s essential to stay informed and proactive.

Stay Safe and Informed with IT Services

As your go-to IT Services expert, we’re here to help you navigate the complex world of cybersecurity. We’ll keep you updated on the latest threats and offer solutions to protect your sensitive information. So, whether you’re a healthcare provider, a small business owner, or just a concerned individual, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Together, we can stay one step ahead of cyber criminals.

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Malware

Helsinki Hit by Data Breach: Hackers Exploit Unpatched Vulnerability

Helsinki’s city services experienced a data breach after hackers exploited an unpatched flaw in a Vastaamo psychotherapy clinic’s system. The attackers demanded ransom and leaked patient records, affecting thousands of individuals and prompting police investigations. Ensure your systems are updated and protected to avoid similar cyberattacks.

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Breaking News: Helsinki’s Education Division Suffers Major Data Breach

The City of Helsinki is currently investigating a significant data breach that occurred within its education division. This breach, which was discovered in late April 2024, has impacted tens of thousands of students, guardians, and personnel.

What Happened?

On May 2, 2024, information about the attack began circulating, but it wasn’t until a press conference held earlier today that the city’s authorities shared more details. According to their report, an unauthorized actor was able to gain access to a network drive by exploiting a vulnerability in a remote access server.

Shockingly, the officials revealed that a security patch for the vulnerability was available at the time of the attack but had not been installed. This oversight allowed the attacker to access tens of millions of files; while most of these files did not contain personally identifiable information (PII), some did include usernames, email addresses, personal IDs, and physical addresses.

The Stakes Are High

Beyond the basic personal information, the exposed drive also contained highly sensitive data such as fees, childhood education and care records, children’s statuses, welfare requests, medical certificates, and more. Helsinki’s city manager, Jukka-Pekka Ujula, expressed his deep regret over the situation, stating that it is a “very serious data breach, with possible, unfortunate consequences for our customers and personnel.” He went on to say that, in the worst-case scenario, this breach could affect over 80,000 students and their guardians, as well as all personnel within the city’s services.

What’s Being Done?

Due to the massive amount of exposed data, investigating exactly what has been compromised will likely take some time. In the meantime, the City of Helsinki has notified the Data Protection Ombudsman, the Police, and Traficom’s National Cyber Security Centre as required.

At this stage, those impacted by the breach do not need to contact the police. However, they are urged to report any suspicious communications to “ka********************@he*.fi” or “+358 9 310 27139” and follow the advice provided by Traficom for data breach victims.

Who’s Behind the Attack?

As of the time of writing this, no ransomware groups have claimed responsibility for the attack, leaving the identity of the perpetrators unknown. This serves as a stark reminder of the ever-present threat of cyberattacks and the importance of maintaining strong cybersecurity measures.

Stay Informed and Stay Safe

As experts in cybersecurity, we understand the devastating impact data breaches can have on individuals and organizations. We encourage you to contact us to stay up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity news and trends. Together, we can help you protect your information and maintain your peace of mind.

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Malware1 min ago

Don’t Let Your Guard Down: Santander’s Data Breach and What It Means for You



Have you ever had that sinking feeling when you realize you left your wallet at a restaurant or your phone in a taxi? It’s that gut-wrenching moment of panic, wondering if you’ll ever see your precious belongings again, or worse, if someone else is now enjoying them. That’s how thousands of Banco Santander customers must have felt when they found out that their sensitive personal information had been exposed due to a data breach.



What Happened at Banco Santander?



Let me paint you a picture: It’s a typical day at the bank, and then – BAM! – cybercriminals break in and snatch up customer data like a thief in the night. Here’s the twist: these criminals didn’t need a getaway car or a ski mask. All they needed was a computer and an internet connection.



Banco Santander, one of the largest banks in the world, recently revealed that it had suffered a significant data breach, exposing the personal information of over 11,000 customers. The stolen data included names, addresses, bank account numbers, and even Social Security numbers. We’re talking the whole shebang, folks.



Why Should You Care?



Now you might be thinking, “I’m not a Banco Santander customer, so why should I care?” Well, my friend, the answer is simple: cybercrime is a global epidemic. If it can happen to a banking giant like Santander, it can happen to any company or institution that deals with sensitive information. And let’s face it: in today’s digital world, that’s pretty much everyone.



According to a 2019 report by NortonLifeLock, 33 billion records were exposed in data breaches during the first half of the year alone. That’s right – I said billion with a “b.” And here’s another sobering statistic: the 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report predicts that a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds by 2021.



What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?



Feeling a little uneasy? Don’t worry; I’ve got your back. There are a few simple steps you can take to safeguard your personal information and reduce your risk of becoming a cybercrime statistic:




  • Be vigilant with your passwords: Use unique, complex passwords for every account, and change them regularly. Consider using a password manager to help you keep track of them all.

  • Stay on top of software updates: Outdated software is like an open invitation to cybercriminals. Keep your operating system, web browser, and antivirus software up to date.

  • Be cautious with public Wi-Fi: Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive activities like online banking, and use a VPN to protect your data.

  • Watch out for phishing scams: If an email or text message seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of clicking on unfamiliar links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.



Together, We Can Fight Cybercrime



Here’s the deal: cybercrime isn’t going away anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean we’re powerless in the face of it. By staying informed and taking action to protect ourselves, we can make it harder for cybercriminals to succeed.



So let’s do this, folks! Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect yourself and your business from the growing threat of cybercrime. And don’t forget to keep coming back for the latest news, tips, and insights. Together, we can make a difference.

Malware1 day ago

Data Breach Alert: 895,000 Records Compromised in Massive Ransomware Attack

Malware3 days ago

Helsinki Hit by Data Breach: Hackers Exploit Unpatched Vulnerability

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