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Yahoo! tops PII data leak league table but cloud productivity with Office 365 is still the best option

office365image3Details of 500 million user accounts stolen from Yahoo!

Last week news of the biggest known data leak of personal identifiable information (PII) in history was released by Yahoo!. The breach occurred in 2014 but Yahoo! has only just discovered the extent of the theft of information: It relates to 500 million user accounts…

The timing of this news has raised eyebrows in more ways than one and leaves Yahoo! in quite a bit of a corporate mess:

  • It comes in the midst of Verizon’s bid to purchase Yahoo! for £3.7bn, causing some tough questions to be asked of Verizon and Yahoo!
  • The two-year delay between the breach and the full extent of the leak being revealed looks very bad for Yahoo! – Did it know sooner and did it flout data protection and regulatory codes in order to protect the sale?

The world’s biggest data leak league table

If we look at the list of biggest known PII data leaks, it is clear this is a rolling narrative. It’s a bit like earthquakes in San Francisco; it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ the next big one is going to hit.

 

Rank Company Date Size
1 Yahoo 2014 Disclosed 2016: 500 million accounts compromised
2 MySpace Unknown Disclosed 2016: 360 million accounts compromised
3 LinkedIn 2012 Full extent disclosed 2016: 165 million accounts compromised
4 Heartland Payment Systems 2008-09 130 million records compromised
5 Target Stores 2013 110 million records compromised
6 Sony online entertainment services 2011 102 million records compromised
7 Rambler 2014 Disclosed 2016: 98 million accounts compromised
8 US National Archive and Records Administration 2008 76 million records compromised
9 Anthem 2015 69 million to 80 million records compromised
10 Dropbox 2012 Not disclosed until 2016: 68 million accounts compromised
11 Epsilon 2011 60 million to 250 million records compromised
12 Tumblr 2013 Disclosed 2016: 65 million accounts compromised
13 Home Depot 2014 56 million payment cards compromised
14 Evernote 2013 More than 50 million records compromised
15 Living Social 2013 More than 50 million records compromised
16 TJX Companies Inc. 2006-07 At least 46 million records compromised

 

The thorny question of cloud security

One of the subtexts of large-scale data leaks is the security of cloud services. Security issues have often been cited as obstacles to the uptake of and migration toward cloud services.

However, some of the toughest regulatory codes in the business world endorse their use and accept that properly secured cloud platforms are secure. In fact, in the vast majority of cases they are more secure than systems installed on-premise. Data centres and infrastructure secured to ISO 27001 or equivalent information security standards offer high levels of physical as well as digital security.

It should be remembered that responsibility for good security doesn’t just rest with those that manage the cloud platform. It also requires users to exercise best practice and behave responsibly with passwords and usernames.

The fact of the matter is that no on-premise system or cloud platform can ever be rendered immune to a security breach. However, businesses need technology that supports productivity for today’s mobile workforces. If this is the benefit, then it has to be balanced against risks including data loss.

Microsoft Office 365 from Paralogic optimises benefit, risk and cost

Microsoft Office 365 brings together benefit, risk and cost in perhaps what is the most optimised way. It maximises productivity benefits while minimising risk for a reasonable and affordable cost and is the best option for those that want the flexibility of the cloud.

Paralogic provides all the services and support needed for migration of smaller, expanding and mid-sized businesses successfully over to Office 365. To find out more about how to start using Office 365 to tackle your business challenges simply call Paralogic on 01844 293 330 or fill in the form on the right and one of team will be glad to help.

Click here to download the free Office 365 ‘Security and Compliance’ White Paper from the Microsoft download center.

Click here for the article ‘The Worst Data Breaches of All Time’ at tomsguide.com

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