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The Week in Breach News: 03/16/22 – 03/22/22

March 23, 2022

More trouble for crypto and DeFi outfits thanks to a supply chain incident, Anonymous isn’t letting up on Russia, a cyberattack sours milk processing in the US and 6 insights from Gartner’s Top Trends in Cybersecurity 2022 report.

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H.P. Hood Dairy

Exploit: Hacking

H.P. Hood Dairy: Milk Producer

cybersecurity news gauge indicating extreme risk

Risk to Business: 1.411 = Extreme

Major New England dairy producer Hood announced that it had been hit with a cyberattack that has impacted milk production. The company stated that the unnamed attack caused milk processing and dairy production to halt at its 13 plants around the U.S. This has led to dairy shortages in some school systems and the waste of a large volume of milk. Production and processing operations have been restored and the incident is under investigation.  

Individual Impact: No information about consumer/employee PII, PHI or financial data exposure was available at press time.

How It Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: TCybercriminals have been hitting major food producers hard, looking for a quick score from a time-sensitive business.

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Exploit: Supply Chain Risk

BlockFi: Cryptocurrency Finance

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge indicating moderate risk

Risk to Business: 2.799 = Moderate

Crypto financial institution BlockFi has announced that it had experienced a data breach incident via one of its third-party vendors, HubSpot. BlockFi says that the hackers gained access to BlockFi client data stored on HubSpot on Friday, March 18. BlockFi was quick to assure investors that its internal system and client funds were not accessed and that the breach remains limited to a very narrow pool of data stored with the third-party vendor, HubSpot.

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge indicating moderate risk

Individual Risk: 2.806 = Severe

The exposed information from this breach may have included user data such as names, email addresses and phone numbers.

NOTE: The attackers in this incident likely also accessed similar data on HubSpot belonging to Swan Bitcoin, NYDIG and Circle.

Individual Impact: No information about consumer/employee PII, PHI or financial data exposure was available at press time.

How It Could Affect Your Customers’ Business Cryptocurrency and DeFi have been catnip for cybercriminals and that’s not going to stop anytime soon.

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United States – Creative Services Inc.

Exploit: Hacking 

Creative Services Inc.: Employment Investigations

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 1.721 = Severe

Hackers cracked into Massachusetts background check firm Creative Services and snatched highly sensitive personal records on more than 164,000 job-seekers and license applicants on November 26, 2021. The company’s internal investigation determined that an unauthorized party may have copied certain files on the company’s computer systems. This is a particularly tricky incident because of the confidential nature of the information that this firm handles.

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Individual Risk: 1.763 = Severe

Investigators found that the hackers obtained access to names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers in the attack as well as access to other sensitive data that could be used for nefarious purposes.  

Individual Impact: No information about consumer/employee PII, PHI or financial data exposure was available at press time.

How It Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: This kind of sensitive information isn’t what anyone wants falling into the wrong hands and should be stored with extra safety.

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Wheeling Health Right, Inc.

Exploit: Ransomware

Wheeling Health Right Inc.: Healthcare Non-Profit

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 1.867 = Severe

Wheeling Health Right Inc (WHR), a United Way medical services non-profit, announced that on January 18, 2022, the organization was the victim of a “sophisticated cyberattack”, likely ransomware, that encrypted its systems as well as giving the threat actors access to protected patient health information. The organization is working with a technology services provider to decrypt the data as well as add other safeguards, and the investigation is ongoing.  

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Individual Risk: 1.772 = Severe

Information that may have been accessed includes full name, postal address, email address, phone number, driver’s license number, medical record number, Social Security number. tax information, income information, and other health information about patients who applied for or received services from WHR.  

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business This isn’t a problem that any medical facility can afford with high HIPAA penalties, especially a non-profit.

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Ireland – The Rehab Group

Exploit: Malware

The Rehab Group: Disability Services Provider 

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 1.661 = Severe

One of the largest disability services providers in Ireland, The Rehab Group has fallen victim to a cyberattack. The company says that there is no evidence that data had been accessed. The investigation is still ongoing, with the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau and the National Cyber Security Centre involved.  

Individual Impact: No information about consumer/employee PII, PHI or financial data exposure was available at press time.

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business Any organization that holds a large quantity of personal or financial data will be an attractive target for cybercriminals.

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Russia – Transneft

Exploit: Nation-State Hacking (Hacktivism)

Transneft: State-Owned Oil Pipeline Company

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge indicating moderate risk

Risk to Business: 2.902 = Moderate

Anonymous is back at it, this time leaking documents stolen from the Omega Company, the research and development division of Russian oil pipeline company Transneft. The hacktivist collective, who have publicly sided with Ukraine in response to Russia’s invasion of the country, got ahold of 79GB of the company’s emails and published them on the leak site of the non-profit whistleblower organization Distributed Denial of Secrets. The stolen data includes invoices, equipment technical configurations, and product shipment information. One unusual detail: the hackers responsible dedicated the hack to Hillary Clinton after she mentioned that Ukraine-aligned hackers should attack Russian targets in a recent interview.  

Individual Impact: No information about consumer/employee PII, PHI or financial data exposure was available at press time.

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business Political upheaval can place organizations within hacktivist sights, creating unforeseen security complications.

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South Africa – TransUnion

Exploit: Ransomware

TransUnion: Credit Bureau

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 1.905 = Severe

TransUnion has reported that it experienced a data breach as a result of a ransomware attack. The company states that cybercriminals obtained access to their systems through credential compromise. TransUnion received a $15 million ransom demand from a group identifying themselves as N4ughtySec that they do not intend to pay. The group says they’re based in Brazil and that they have over 4TB of stolen data touching over 200 companies.  

Individual Impact: No information about consumer/employee PII, PHI or financial data exposure was available at press time.

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business Organizations in the Financial sector from bans to credit organizations have been getting walloped by cybercrime, beating out healthcare to become the top cyberattack target.

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1 – 1.5 = Extreme Risk

1.51 – 2.49 = Severe Risk

2.5 – 3 = Moderate Risk

Risk scores for The Week in Breach are calculated using a formula that considers a wide range of factors related to the assessed breach.

Go Inside the Ink to see how today’s biggest threats can impact your MSP and your customers in our blog.

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Are Your Users Trained to Handle These Risks? This checklist is perfect for sending to your clients as you talk to them about the importance of up-to-date security and compliance awareness training and where they may be lacking. GET IT>>

Building a Strong Security Culture ChecklistThe evidence is clear: a strong security culture is a major security asset that helps prevent cyberattacks. This checklist helps you and your clients assess the health of their security culture. GET IT>>

Computer Security To-Do ListIt’s a dangerous world. Are you covering all of the bases to keep your clients safe? This checklist gives you a good barometer of your client’s security and gaps that need to be filled. GET IT>>

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Keep Your Clients Ahead of the Curve

The cybersecurity world presents IT professionals with a wide array of challenges, and those challenges are continuously evolving. It can be difficult to be certain that you’re paying attention to the right trends and spending your energy on securing your customers from the biggest risks they face today as well as those that are around the corner. The “Top Trends in Cybersecurity 2022.” by Gartner, Inc provides some excellent insight into the things that security professionals may want to keep an eye on in 2022.  

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1. Attack Surfaces Are Expanding 

For most organizations, their attack surface is expanding and will continue to expand. The report notes that risk around cyber-physical systems and IoT, open-source code, cloud applications, complex digital supply chains, social media and more have caused organizations’ exposed surfaces to expand beyond a previously quantifiable set of controllable assets. Gartner cautioned that “Organizations must look beyond traditional approaches to security monitoring, detection and response to manage a wider set of security exposures.” Suggested ways to mitigate this risk include Digital risk protection services (DRPS), external attack surface management (EASM) technologies and cyber asset attack surface management (CAASM). 

2. Digital Supply Chain Risk Will Continue to Climb 

Supply chain risk has been a rising concern for businesses. Cybercriminals have discovered that it pays to attack bigger targets through their supply chain. They’ve also discovered that certain types of suppliers and service providers hold lots of valuable information without having very strong security. As illustrated in our reporting in The Week in Breach, organizations are constantly being ensnared in cybersecurity disasters that are not necessarily of their own making. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 45% of organizations worldwide will have experienced attacks on their software supply chains, a three-fold increase from 2021. 

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3. High Cyber Resilience is Key to Security Success 

The overarching message sent by this report is that organizations need to be prepared for a cyberattack coming from any direction. Escalating digital supply chain risk is one big reason why a shift to reliance-based thinking is necessary for enterprise security. The report recommends that companies need to be ready to embrace new mitigation approaches that involve more deliberate risk-based vendor/partner segmentation and scoring. They should also not hesitate to make requests to suppliers and service providers about their security practices or to see evidence of their security controls.  

4. Companies Need to Evolve Their Thinking on Security Awareness 

Going a step beyond simple security or compliance training is essential for companies to stay ahead of the risk curve. Employees don’t just need to be aware of risks they may encounter, they also need to be invested in their company’s security success. That means that smart organizations are evolving their approach to increased security awareness by investing in “holistic security behavior and culture programs (SBCPs).” According to this report, the updated approach weaves security and compliance more deeply into the company’s culture, fosters new ways of thinking and reinforces new or better security habits and behaviors across the organization.  

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5. Cybersecurity is Everyones’s Problem 

Burnout and overwork in tech is endemic and that ranges from the bottom to the top in many organizations. Beyond that, cybersecurity isn’t just a “tech” problem anymore; it’s a part of every department and every employee’s job. That makes it important to change the way that companies approach decision-making, accountability and responsibility for cybersecurity functions. The report urges transitioning sole responsibility for all things security away from CISOs. In another report, Gartner predicted that at least 50% of C-level executives will have performance requirements related to cybersecurity risk built into their employment contracts by 2026. 

6. Identity Threats Management and Detection Will Grow in Importance 

Gartner has introduced a new term, “identity threat detection and response.” This term is intended to encompass the tools and practices designated for identity and access management purposes, a steadily growing job for security teams. In a world moving steadily toward a zero trust architecture as the default, IAM is only going to become more important as time goes on. “Identity as the new security perimeter” was a key insight from Gartner’s 2021 report, influenced by the prevalence of remote work. This report takes that IAM focus a step further, highlighting the importance of strength in this area going forward.  

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Other Insights 

The report claims that three major trends are influencing cybersecurity in 2022: new responses to sophisticated threats, the evolution and reframing of the security practices and rethinking technology.  There’s no doubt that the threats that IT professionals are facing when securing companies are increasingly more sophisticated as time goes on. The shifting cybercrime landscape has sent evolving threats careening into sectors that didn’t see them coming like today’s elevated nation-state cybercrime threats against SMBs. New threats are also emerging and racing to prominence more quickly than they have in the past. The sudden prominence of remote workforce security threats in 2020 is a great example of a new threat charging to the top spot in terms of relevance. 

Reasons like these are why it is critical that companies bolster their cyber resilience and continue working to keep it high. The fast pace of threats and emerging cybercrime trends in today’s volatile world are clear indicators that organizations need to be ready for trouble from unexpected vectors as well as ready to pivot on a dime to face fresh threats. A hefty 67% of respondents in IBM’s Cyber Resilient Organization Study 2021 said that both the volume and severity of cybersecurity incidents that their organizations face has increased or significantly increased in the past 12 months. That clearly shows that cybercrime threats will only get worse and smart companies are preparing now to face tomorrow’s onslaught of danger. 

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Help Your Clients Prepare for Today’s and Tomorrrow’s Threats 

A Strong Security Culture Rests on a Foundation of Knowledge 

By making sure that all of your customers’ employees are security-savvy, you can reduce their risk of falling victim to a cyberattack while building the kind of strong security culture that keeps giving them security and compliance benefits down the road. BullPhish ID is the perfect vehicle to get the job done.  

  • Make learning fun with memorable, engaging video lessons that minimize tech jargon and address risks employees encounter every day. 
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  • Deliver training automatically through personalized portals and follow up with quizzes that show who needs more help. 
  • Raise phishing awareness by running simulations using plug-and-play-kits or customize the content to fit every client’s unique needs. 

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Check for Vulnerabilities Now to Avoid Trouble Later 

As we head into Q2, it’s a great time to review your security plan to make sure that you’ve got your house in order. Security is constantly evolving, and circumstances like increased risk from the ripple effects of the Russia/Ukraine conflict or supply chain danger could necessitate a few adjustments in your security plan.

This is especially important if you’ve just returned or are about to return to the office. The security adjustments that you made during the pandemic may need to be revisited to account for your people working in a different way, even if they’re only in the office a few days per week. Alternately, you may have decided to go full-time remote, which necessitates a review of security to ensure that you’ve got the right solutions in place for long-term remote security.

Making sure you have all the bases covered as you head into the busy spring and summer season (as well as vacation season) will help you avoid nasty surprises and be ready for the security challenges that are likely to be just around the corner in a dangerous world.

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