Thanks to technological advances, information flows effortlessly across geographic boundaries and the world’s knowledge is just a few, simple clicks away. As our society becomes ever more digitalized, our world is becoming more dynamic and exciting than ever before. And at the forefront of this change is how we view, store, collect, and interpret big data. Today, data is considered the modern day equivalent of currency, and for that reason the security and privacy of personal information have become absolutely paramount.
From beloved franchises that sell our favorite pizzas to large tech giants, more and more businesses are collecting customer data — the profitability of their business depends on it. In many ways, the collection of data benefits both the customers and businesses. For example, data helps a company find the right audience who can benefit from their product and/or service.
Yet, in recent years, headlines have reported that top-level companies had experienced widespread data breaches; the consequence was far reaching because it had exposed millions of customers to cyber attackers. With great power comes great responsibility, so it comes as a surprise to many of us that top-level companies have experienced data breaches in the first place. Afterall, we view these companies as the epitome of data security. In this article, we’ll go over the most current data breaches that have occurred from top-level companies during 2023; in this context, we’ll be shedding light on the importance of cybersecurity and cyber insurance.
T-Mobile Data Breach: 37 Million Users Affected
T-Mobile – as America’s largest telecommunications company – is no stranger to innovation, convenience, customer service, and technological upgrades. In January 2023, T-Mobile publicly announced that they experienced a data breach for 37 million of its prepaid and postpaid customers; cyber attackers have accessed the customers’ data. T-Mobile has responded to this cyber attack by promising to invest $150 million in cybersecurity. This event reminds us that companies must regularly upgrade their systems and technological infrastructures to defend against evolving threats in the realm of cybersecurity
MailChimp: A Social Engineering Cyber Attack
Mailchimp, a leading email marketing platform, empowers businesses to reach their target audience more effectively through the use of their advanced automation tools. From captivating newsletters to targeted marketing campaigns, Mailchimp’s features have become a central part of many marketing strategies. Any given company that uses Mailchimp’s marketing platform stores hundreds to thousands of customer emails.
On January 18, 2023, MailChimp had announced that a cyber attacker had gained access to 133 MailChimp accounts. The cyberattack did not involve any sophisticated algorithms, malware, or software viruses. Instead, it was largely the result of a well-crafted social engineering attack. Someone had impersonated a representative and had gained access to private information. Suffice to say that many are questioning the company’s cybersecurity protocols.
American Airlines: Pilot Data Compromised
American Airlines fulfills the dreams of many as they whisk travelers across the globe; the company is known for their sleek aircrafts and top-notch service.
Despite their talent in the aviation industry, American Airlines was not able to protect the data of thousands of pilots. Specifically, thousands of their pilots became victims to the June 2023 data breach whereby confidential data stored in a database was accessed by cyber attackers.
This incident highlighted vulnerabilities in the airline’s IT systems and raised concerns about data protection policies. Additionally, it emphasized the ongoing need for strong cybersecurity measures and the importance of safeguarding customer data within the aviation sector.
Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell: 2023 Customer Data Leaks
Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell are some of the most famous fast-food chains in the U.S. Their speedy service, their diverse menu, and budget-friendly prices make them great lunch and dinner alternatives for those who have a busy lifestyle.
In April of 2023, these franchises experienced a data breach where driver’s license numbers and other personally identifiable information (PII) were stolen. It’s unlikely that the affected customers will probably order from these franchises again.
Fast food chains collect and store a significant amount of customer data, including personal information, payment card details, and online ordering history. This sensitive information makes them prime targets for cyber attackers. Fast food chains will need to safeguard customer data in order to prevent the costly consequences of data breaches.
Cyber Insurance: A Digital Guardian
Insurance agents play an important role in helping small and large companies navigate the many types of cyber risks. As businesses become increasingly reliant on digital infrastructure and the collection of digital data, the need for cyber insurance has never been greater.
Cyber Insurance provides several benefits to individuals and businesses in the context of ever-increasing cyber threats and data breaches. Here are some key advantages of having cyber insurance:
- Financial Compensation: Cyber insurance helps mitigate the financial impact of a cyber incident. Specifically, cyber insurance companies will cover the costs associated with: notifying the affected individuals, providing credit monitoring services, covering legal expenses from potential lawsuits, and more.
- Business Continuity: A cyber attack can cause a business operations to come to a halt, and when it does, a business can experience a loss in revenue. The remedy must be found before a business can continue its operations. Because cyber insurance allows for a swift response to a cyber attack, a business can recover more swiftly.
- Reputational Protection: When a business makes headline news regarding the compromise of sensitive customer information, the company is susceptible to reputational damage. Cyber insurance provides compensation for public relations campaigns so that the company can resume building its positive relationship with its customers.
Want to get the full report of the latest data breaches that have occurred in 2023? You can find them here. Whether you’re insuring a local neighborhood drycleaning store, or a secondary hardware company, Quaker Special Risk provides robust cyber liability coverage for businesses of any size. Get in touch with us today for a personalized quote that’s tailored to your needs.