One of the scariest things for business owners to see trending is the word #DataBreach. Over the past few days, Twitter has come forward to apologize for a significant data breach that occurred as a result of a nonsecure browser cache displaying sensitive user information. Although it remains unclear just how many businesses were affected, the compromise is believed to have impacted a large number of companies who utilize the platform for marketing and SEO.
If you were one of the thousands of business owners who received an email from Twitter apologizing for the breach — or if you’ve simply seen the hot topic trending on your dash — you may be anxious to learn the details and understand what you can do to prevent future vulnerabilities.
Take a deep breath. #DataSecuritySolutions is always trending with Bluwater Technologies.
The core vulnerability responsible for Twitter’s security compromise lies in the way the app and website stores user information. A browser cache allows platforms to remember details about a user and create key analytics. It relies on the process of saving temporary data, such as passwords and credit card information, so the website or app does not need to download this information each time. This allows the website or app to load faster while keeping us connected with our various clients, contacts, and social media platforms.
Unfortunately, Twitter discovered that the confidential billing information of many of its business accounts had been erroneously stored in the browser’s cache. This made the sensitive information visible to potential cyber criminals. Although no exploits have been confirmed, Twitter acknowledged that it was “possible” outside parties could access and view this information.
So what information was exposed? According to the official statement, email addresses, phone numbers and the last four digits of clients’ credit card numbers were the key pieces of data that may have been compromised.
Who Was Affected?
As previously stated, Twitter has yet to give an official estimate on how many businesses were affected.
This isn’t the first time the tech giant has had issues with data security. In 2018, a site wide bug affected some 330 million users and compromised the password credentials of all business users involved. If this benchmark offers any guess, it’s likely that the current data breach has impacted a broad range of clients.
Non-Twitter users are not thought to be affected. As of May 20th, 2020, the caching issue has been resolved.
While news of leaked information is no doubt a terrifying prospect, there’s no need to panic just yet. Modern businesses are more connected than ever through the collaborative powers of social media. That means business owners must prioritize internet security in an increasingly digital world in order to meet the needs of today’s compliance standards.
If your business was affected by the breach, take a moment to review your system information for any indications of a hack. It’s a good idea to call in the professionals and utilize the knowledge of a trained IT consultant to identify any potential threats or vulnerabilities. Ensure all passwords are changed and updated (sentence form passwords are best). If your company has suffered a data loss or been the victim of malicious Ransomware attempts, don’t give in to cyber criminal just yet. Backup and disaster recovery options are available for small and mid-sized businesses.
Once you’ve assessed the damage and come out on top, consider proactive ways to prevent cyber attacks moving forward. Always clear your browser cache at the end of each day or set your browser to automatically clear so that stored information is not visible. Ask your IT consult about curating how your information is transmitted online. VPN’s — or virtual private networks — are a great option for masking and securing your online identity. A robust firewall and a comprehensive network and data security system is the best way to stop cyber criminals in their tracks and protect your valuable information.
Ask our Fort Lauderdale experts for more helpful tips and strategies for making your business #unbreakable.