Back in April, the largest known e-mail security breach took place when Epsilon, an online marketing corporation, had their clients’ lists of e-mail addresses stolen by sophisticated cyber thieves.
Epsilon was in charge of maintaining the e-mail databases and campaigns of some of the largest corporations in the country, including 1-800 Flowers, Best Buy, Walgreens, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, and more. In fact, there’s a good chance that you’ve received multiple “apology” e-mails from these vendors.
While some said the breach didn’t cause a whole lot of damage, we disagree. Essentially, these cyber criminals now have the ability to invent highly sophisticated phishing attacks by creating e-mail offers that look like legitimate promotions coming from companies they (the people whose e-mail addresses were stolen) buy from and trust.
And though it’s already common for cyber thieves to impersonate credible organizations with what appears to be legitimate e-mail messages that seek to verify account information, this recent breach of security allows cyber thieves to be smarter and even more targeted with their scams.
Two Key Lessons
First, you need to be a lot more wary of e-mail promotions and communications that ask you to provide your credit card information or to validate your account information (username, password, social security number, etc.). No valid company will ever ask you to send important, confidential information in that manner.
Second, this breach serves as a warning to all businesses that they must have the MOST up-to-date security systems in place for their computer network, especially if you handle client data such as credit cards, bank accounts, social security numbers, passwords, client lists and more. Epsilon has responded to the security breach, apologizing to all of those affected, but the damage is done to their organization, not to mention their clients.
That’s why we urge all of our clients to enroll in our <>. This service allows us to monitor your network’s anti-virus, firewall and security settings to make sure your network is fully protected against these damaging events.