Ashley Madison Hack Reminds Us No Online Business is Safe

Ashley Madison screen shotThe Target hack was bad – it got CEO Gregg Steinhafel fired. The Home Depot breach was perilous – allowing access to more than 53 million e-mail addresses. In high profile cybersecurity breaches like this, typically someone is terminated and the company realizes they haven’t invested nearly enough time and money into upgrading their Information Security staff and systems. Those affected by the breach usually receive a letter inviting them to take advantage of an identity theft prevention service for a defined period of time, and that may be the last most hear of the story. So, getting your e-mail address or even credit card information compromised is one thing. But what if the breach revealed something even more personal about you –

That you’re a cheater?

Ashley Madison, a dating website for married folks that uses the tagline “Life Is Short, Have An Affair,” was compromised by hackers this week who threatened to release information on its members if the site isn’t shut down.  If Ashley Madison sounds like a niche dating site for a fringe population, you may want to reconsider. Ashley Madison claims to have upwards of 35 million members. That’s more than the population of Costa Rica, Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, and Singapore. Combined.

Amazingly, Ashley Madison had bragged about its security measures, calling itself the “last truly secure space online.”  Now, the Ashley Madison hack has exposed (so to speak) itself and its members to compromising situations including identity theft, blackmail, and divorce…just to name a few.

Companies that are trusted with crucial customer and employee information (and that includes pretty much every company) need to train and invest now. Smart companies regularly pay to have their systems tested for potential breaches and invest when cracks are discovered.

Most companies simply do not have enough qualified employees to handle their security.  Consider Information Security certification training to put yourself in position to be the one companies call to secure their systems – before the breach occurs.

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