Monstrous Breach is a Sign of Things to Come in the Workplace without Endpoint Security.

Monster.com was hacked sometime ago and 1.3 million people were affected.  For the most part, it looks like the information that was stolen was largely relegated to names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses.

 

What does a criminal do with information such as this?  After all, there is no mention of credit card numbers or Social Security numbers.  Well, the answer is in.  There are several reports that e-mails are being sent to the 1.3 million job seekers in the form of phishing scams, including people who had registered at usajobs.com, an affiliate to monster.com.  So, the semi-innocuous data that was stolen was just a gateway to the more desirable type of information.

 

Not only that, the hackers are trying to get the gullible to download a tool called “’monster job seeker,’ a malicious program file that causes harm to the user’s PC and may encrypt the data on the user’s PC for ransom,” according to the article at onalaskalife.com.

 

Needless to say, encryption works wonders for preventing people from getting to information.  So it makes sense that hackers are employing this for their own gain.  The question is, though, why aren’t more legitimate entities taking advantage of this fact?  Government bodies or corporations that handle sensitive data, for example. Especially when you also consider that the use of laptops is becoming ever more prevalent in the workplace, you’d imagine that protecting the data on those devices would be priority number one.

 

But based on the current trends, it doesn’t appear so.  The problem will only exacerbate itself.  The trend towards a mobile workforce is not only going up; the trend is increasing at a rapid rate, especially if you include remote working as part of the mobile workforce.  Consider the case in the UK, for example.  Remote working, such as working from home, is four times as popular as it was three years ago among businesses, according to a recently published survey.  Eleven percent of UK businesses offered remote working to their employees as an option in 2004; now, 46% of them do.  Business Week has been covering for years now how more and more companies in the United States are giving their key employees options to work from home, and these benefits seem to be trickling down the corporate hierarchy.  The assumption is that this trend will continue.  It would be remiss by executives at any corporate level not to start thinking about the requirements of a future workforce that is not concentrated in a building, and what steps need to be taken to protect the data handled by workers. 

 

In fact, based on the high-profile security breaches that the world has encountered over the past couple of years, one might argue that the time is already here.  Even the simple act of ensuring that all laptops and other mobile devices be enrypted via AlertBoot full disk encryption would prevent harm when eventually a computer gets lost or stolen.  Content encryption will be critical in order to deflect the effects of sending electronic files to the wrong person.



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