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It is official. Technology in the hands of a ten-year-old could mean trouble for the security of your business data!

Yesterday, the BBC reported a story of a ten-year-old boy from Finland called Jani who has successfully hacked the social media network, Instagram. Jani discovered a flaw in the app that allowed him to delete comments that other people had left on posts. 

The problem was promptly fixed after Jani did the right thing and reported his discovery to Facebook, who own the app. He was subsequently paid a £7,000 reward for his findings and is now the youngest person to receive the firm's "Bug Bounty" prize. 

Obviously on this occasion, Jani's discovery has resulted in improvement for Instagram but how scary is it that a ten-year-old even has the knowledge and ability to hack into the app's system in the first place?!

This story shows just how accessible data can be if it isn't protected properly. What would you do if your key business data got into the hands of the wrong ten-year old hacking genius?

Stories such as this one are a reminder of the fact that the techy skills of young people are becoming increasingly natural and advanced. Brands like Facebook and Instagram are channelling these skills positively with incentives for hackers to find bugs in their systems. The wider reality of the situation is that businesses all over the world don't give their data security the consideration that it needs. 

Here are just some of the big brands that have been hit by the world's biggest data breaches in the last few years: (stats sourced from Information is beautiful)

Ebay 

In 2015, Ebay confirmed that hackers attacked between late February and early March with login credentials from a 'small number' of employees. 145,000,000 records were reported to have been stolen.

Adobe

In September 2013, hackers obtained access to a large number of Adobe customer IDs and managed to remove sensitive information. Approximately 36 million Adobe customers were involved and 3.1 million customers had credit and debit card information stolen. 

British Airways

In March 2015 hackers accessed tens of thousands of British Airways frequent flyer accounts. Fortunately, no data was stolen and only a small number of customers were affected. 

TalkTalk

And of course, last year, 157,000 of TalkTalk's customers had personal data stolen, which included 15,600 account numbers. The total predicted cost of the scandal for TalkTalk now amounts to £60 million. 

 

The reality is that as businesses become increasingly reliant upon technology and people demand access to their work whilst on the go, data security is increasingly important and vulnerable. 

Think about it...

  • What would happen if your client data was stolen?
  • How would your business cope if it's systems were down for 24 hours with no explanation?
  • What would the cost implications be for your business if your customers went elsewhere due to poor security from you?

If your business needs advice on how to secure its data then you can talk to one of our team here. 

Whatever you do, don't let your business get hacked by a ten-year-old! 

Join the discussion!