If you have a Yahoo! email address, then it’s likely that your sensitive information was stolen a few years ago in their highly publicized data breach. Almost 200 million people lost their personal information to hackers and much of that data eventually found its way to the Dark Web where it was sold to the highest bidder.

Though big data breaches are becoming more common, everyone was stunned to find Yahoo so susceptible to cyber thieves. After all, the company was one of the early pioneers of the internet. The company was founded in 1994 and grew rapidly. Over the years, they acquired other companies such as Tumblr. At one point, Microsoft tried to buy the company for $44.6 billion, but Yahoo rejected their offer saying they felt they were being undervalued.

Yahoo’s Value Declines

Then in 2015, stock prices began to fall, many people saying that the purchase of Tumblr was a mistake and never paid off. Finally, in July of 2016 Verizon Communications agreed to purchase the company for $4.83 billion. Later that year in September, Yahoo disclosed that there had been a massive data breach in 2014. The company was slow to release important information about the data breach.

Eventually, they admitted that hackers had stolen internal software that would forge HTTP cookies. They used this to steal sensitive account information for 200 million Yahoo users. It was estimated that cyber thieves stole personal security questions for over one billion Yahoo users.

Since the data breach was made public, Yahoo has worked with the FBI and various SEC agencies to arrive at a fair settlement. The first settlement offered less than half the current amount, but a judge in California rejected that offer saying it was too low and did not fairly compensate victims.

This latest deal has been approved by the courts and will result in users in the U.S. and Israel receiving two years of free credit monitoring. Once all the details of each attack were made public, the Yahoo breach was named the largest in history with 3 billion accounts hacked.

Penalties for Not Disclosing a Data Breach

Yahoo has been highly criticized for not disclosing the extent of the data breach to authorities. The FBI discovered by accident that the breach had occurred while they were investigating a Russian hacking scandal in 2016. Once a full investigation was completed, the FBI learned that Yahoo had actually been the victim of several data breaches in 2013 and 2014.

Events like these have caused government agencies to greatly tighten the rules and regulations behind data breaches. Today, there are very specific guidelines concerning when and how a data breach must be reported. Any company who is a victim must notify those affected within a certain length of time. There’s a very rigid set of rules to guide those who’ve been the victim of a data breach.

Europe has also responded to the massive increase in data breaches by creating their General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which not only affects European companies but anyone doing business with those companies. The GDPR only gives you 72 hours to report a breach once you become aware of it. Not following breach rules will subject a company to extensive financial penalties.

Amid these alarming data breaches of the last few years, all government agencies are working to find better ways to protect consumers from hackers. What many people do not realize is that hacking groups are now created and funded by governments like Russia. They have extensive resources available to them. Hacking has become a major source of income for communist nations.

How Managed IT Services in Dover Can Help

One of the most effective ways of preventing a data breach is to turn over your cyber security to a managed IT services company. These companies specialize in maintaining your IT infrastructure so that it performs optimally. But they also stay current on the latest data breaches, phishing scams, and ransomware attacks. Often, a company’s in-house IT staff is so busy with day-to-day activities that they cannot focus entirely on keeping the data safe from hackers.

Add to that the fact that hackers are upping their game. They find new and more clever ways to steal data each year. All types of malware and ransomware attacks are on the rise. It just makes sense to hire specialists to protect your data from these attacks.

IT Services in Dover

For help with this or any other IT-related needs, Partners Plus has proven its worth to companies large and small in the Delaware area. If you want to discuss IT Support in Dover, just give us a call. Companies in Dover often say that they benefit by allowing us to handle their IT Services. This can free up your in-house IT staff to work on special projects. Or you may decide that you don’t even need an in-house staff anymore. You can get substantial IT resources and space back at your business for other things. Please contact us to learn more.

This is a constantly evolving challenge. Please feel free to reach out for more info or any feedback and we’ll help/update as needed.