A website that reportedly contained the personal data of millions of users surfaced. The website crashed after few hours due under a high load of web traffic. Several sensitive details including first name, last name, mobile number, email-id and even Aadhaar Number have been exposed. Many people were affected and verified their personal details being leaked and can be watched in the database.
Aadhaar takes the most sensitive form the users that is the identity of a person along with their biometrics. Many organizations claim that the aadhaar data is hack-proof and cannot be leaked. According to a research conducted by Centre for Internet & Society (CIS), around 130 to 135 million Aadhaar numbers have been leaked through the 4 government portals and around 100 million number of bank accounts leaked from other portals.
It’s remarkable that the numbers are not in hundreds or thousands, they appear to be in millions. We come across such sizeable number nowadays.
It is not easy to digest that the personal details or the confidential data that is stored in a place, somewhere on the cloud could be at risk. These data leaks throw up many issues and raise questions about serious security loopholes.
Cyber security vulnerabilities compromise data belonging to users, security agencies, confidential national secrets, etc. Security breaches are a major risk and serve as a wake-up call for organizations to rethink their approach to online security.
“There are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those that will be.” – Robert Mueller FBI Director
Hackers and criminal insiders cause the most data breaches. According to a recent study on data security breach by Ponemon Institute (an agency working on privacy, data protection and information security policy) organizations in India, the Middle East, and the United States had the largest average number of breached records with India being an apex sufferer.
Unsettling data breaches cost, India
According to the IBM study: The Cost of Data Breach conducted by Ponemon Institute,
- The average cost of a data breach in 2017 grew 12.3% from ₹97.3 million in 2016 to ₹110 million in 2017.
- Data breaches caused by malicious or criminal attacks cost companies ₹5,100 per compromised record.
- System glitches and negligence (i.e. human error) cost ₹3,545 and ₹3,651 per record, respectively.
- The detection and escalation costs increased from ₹32.4 million in 2016 to ₹36.7 million in 2017.
So, what can we learn from this?
These questions are critical at a time when the country is gearing up for digitalization by connecting several databases together and building up a system that has huge national security considerations.
Well, it is essential to understand and learn the way on how systems operate. In theory, it appears to be a simple strategy but in practice, reasonably robust online security is very difficult to achieve. You do not want to be a company who may have legal repercussions over sensitive data leaks or unhappy customers with a sudden splurge of sensitive data all over the internet. You should seriously plan for robust security systems and policies which can help minimize the loss or publication of sensitive data.
Ensuring that such security breaches do not befall your organization, forms a part of complex cyber security system to safeguard against attacks. The ‘threat actors’ always try to exploit a vulnerability. If your infrastructure is set up with basic security hygiene like firewalls, patched and up to date, then it is much harder to exploit.
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