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Major Data Breaches of 2022 and How to Avoid a Breach in 2023

Russell Nicolet

There have been major data breaches of 2022. As you can see by the rise of Scam Likely calls, cybercrime did not take a break in 2022. Security Magazine predicts more than 4,100 data breaches will happen in 2023. The worst thing that can happen to a company is a data breach. Data breaches can financially ruin a business. Even if the company can recover financially, a breach can forever tarnish its reputation. Here are some of the major breaches of 2022 and some tips on how to avoid a data breach in 2023.

Nelnet Servicing in the Education Industry

Every industry is at risk of a data breach, including education. In June of last year, the student loan servicer Nelnet Servicing was the victim of a confidential data leak. Because of a vulnerability in the organization’s system, more than 2.5 million users had leaked confidential information.

An investigation into the data breach revealed that student loan account registration information became accessible to an unknown third party between June and July. Nelnet Servicing responded to the data breach by alerting the U.S. Department of Education and law enforcement.

Social Media: Twitter

Around July, Twitter was another organization that suffered a serious data breach. A hacker under the alias “devil” posted on a popular hacking forum that they obtained the data of 5.4 million Twitter accounts. The alleged hacker sold the Twitter accounts for no less than $30,000. Some of the stolen data involved email addresses and phone numbers. Although the hacker attempted to sell the information in July, the breach resulted from a vulnerability in January.

Rideshare Services: Uber

Another company that suffered a major data breach was Uber. The company’s internal servers were accessed in September after a malware attack on a contractor’s device. When trying to log in, the hacker used a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) fatigue which spammed the contractor.

As a result, hackers sold their login information to fraudsters on the dark web. The hacker also obtained the accounts of other employees and gained access to several internal tools. They determined how to reconfigure Uber’s Open DNS to display a graphic image to employees.

Uber responded to the hack by identifying the compromised accounts and restricting their access. Even though the investigation is ongoing, Uber released a statement that it had not seen any evidence that the hacker had accessed the production. That means that the hacker, fortunately, did not gain access to the customers’ confidential information.

Social Media: WhatsApp

In November, another hacker mentioned on the hacking forum BreachForums that they contained up-to-date personal information of 487 million WhatsApp users. The alleged hacker stated that they bought the datasets of WhatsApp users that contain “very recent mobile numbers.”

Of the 487 million WhatsApp users, there are details from 32 million users in the United States, 11 million from the United Kingdom, and 6 million from German users. The hacker did not reveal how they obtained such a large amount of user data or how they collected it. They only mentioned that they had “used their strategy” to get it.

How to Avoid a Data Breach in 2023

Major Data Breaches of 2022 and How to Avoid a Breach in 2023

Even though these companies are different, they have one characteristic in common: hackers can access their data from a weak spot in their systems. You do not want to be a cyberattack victim, especially if you own a business. A data breach can cause damage to your business that will take years to recover from.

As a business owner, there are practical steps that you can take to protect your business’s data. Here are some steps to protect your business from a data breach in 2023 from an experienced team of IT professionals.

Stay on Top of Software Updates

Keeping up to date with your business’s software will take care of your system’s vulnerabilities.

Software updates help strengthen your network and protect it from cyberattacks. In addition to being convenient, they are also a cost-effective security measure. As soon as a software update is due, ensure that it is applied as soon as possible.

Create Difficult Passwords

Another effective security measure is to increase the difficulty of your employee’s passwords.

When creating different passwords, you want to stress the importance of difficulty to your employees. Their passwords should not be something that anyone else might easily guess. Some of the common recommendations include combining the use of uppercase letters, special characters, and numbers.

Create a Data Breach Recovery Plan

The best way to avoid a data breach is to be proactive. Many business owners invest so much into their companies. Yet they forget to create a data recovery plan in the event of a cyberattack.

A data recovery plan will protect your business and your customers. This plan can set guidelines on how to proceed when your company has been the victim of a data breach. This plan can also include additional features like how to proceed legally if your customers want to sue. A data recovery plan can help your business run efficiently instead of losing productivity.

What IT Experts Can Do for Your Business

Experienced IT service providers can design your business’s best data recovery plan.

If your data is lost, their services will help you recover it as soon as possible. The right company will offer several services to your benefit, from data management to cybersecurity. Let trusted IT professionals take the lead from a technical standpoint while you focus on the core needs of your business.

Depending on the needs of your business, they can solve a simple problem or create a lifelong strategy for your business.

Contact an IT Professional Today

Russel Nicolet, founder & president of Nicolet Tech, Inc.

To give your business the best online security, speak with an IT professional about your tech needs today. Schedule a consultation to learn more about a company in your area, its team, and its IT services. Experts should review your company’s security measures and create a plan to protect all of your sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands. Reach out to a cybersecurity expert.


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