7.6 million South Carolinians affected by data breaches

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs has reported its home state has suffered 162 data breaches in the past five years, affecting more than 7.6 million consumers.

This is frightening to hear, especially when there are only 4.9 million people living in South Carolina.

This implies that the personal information of every single person in that state has been stolen, with some residents likely to have been affected more than once.

The 2012 Department of Revenue breach dominates the statistics. This event was one of the largest government breaches in history with information compromised for more than six million people.

Employees at the South Carolina Department of Revenue were sent a targeted phishing email back in August 2012. At least one employee clicked on the email, which executed malware, stealing their username and password.

This allowed the attackers to use the worker’s access privileges to steal 14 encrypted archives containing millions of people’s personal information.

Phishing attacks

Every day, 156 million phishing emails are sent, 15.6 million make it through spam filters, eight million are opened, and 800,000 recipients click on the links. While improvements can be made to email systems to block potential spam, cyber criminals are getting more adept at beating such systems and getting their wares into employee inboxes.

Education is the key

Organizations can reduce the threat of phishing attacks by enrolling their staff on practical awareness courses.

The Phishing Staff Awareness Course will help you and your team understand how phishing attacks work, the tactics cyber criminals employ, and how to spot and avoid a phishing campaign.

Taken at your employee’s desk, this short online course will alert your staff to the risks of clicking on harmful links, therefore reducing the risk of a cyber attack on your organization.

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