* By Sheryl S. Jackson *
A record high of 1,579 data breaches occurred in 2017—a 44.7 percent increase over 2016—with the business category topping the list for the third year in a row at 55 percent of the overall total breaches. It was followed by the medical/healthcare sector with 23.7 percent and the banking/credit/financial sector with 8.5 percent of total breaches.
These numbers point out the importance of data security in all businesses for all types of data. While healthcare and financial industries are heavily regulated on privacy and security of personal identification information and sensitive data, all businesses are at risk if data security is not part of the day-to-day culture.
As supply chains become more connected, relying more on the Internet of Things (IoT) to gather information, the cloud to store data and house applications, and mobile technology to give employees access to information to improve efficiency, they also become more vulnerable.
According to a new report by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center titled Foreign Economic Espionage in Cyberspace,” hackers are “clearly targeting software supply chains to achieve a range of potential effects to include cyber espionage, organizational disruption, or demonstrable financial impact.”
“The types of information at risk in a logistics companies are more about the product than financial information,” says Catalin Badea, chief technology officer at MHI member TECSYS. “This includes product inventories, timing of shipments and delivery locations.” For companies that handle pharmaceutical products or high-priced consumer goods, this can make their shipments a target for theft.
Other types of data that are at risk include employees’ personal information, corporate financial information, intellectual property information and operational or contractual information that a company does not want competitors to access.