When people are out of work and desperately seeking a job, unemployment insurance serves as a comfort to help them through this difficult period. It is often a meager sum on its own, designed to alleviate some stress and help people get by until they find a new position.

Filing for unemployment requires people to provide a lot of sensitive, personal information. The expectation then is that the unemployed person continues to file until finding work, leaving processing and payments to the state to maintain this vital lifeline.

As a result, there is a degree of trust and accountability an unemployed individual puts into the state to handle unemployment benefits. However, though receiving consistent, on-time payments is no doubt the top concern of many, few consider the full scope of the unemployment office’s responsibilities—including properly securing personal information.

The latter was not quite the case recently. Yet another sobering data breach incident struck, this time affecting a government office and tens of thousands of people in Florida.

Dark Day in the Sunshine State

Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity reported that almost 58,000 people were affected by a data breach on its systems. They became aware of the incident on July 16, 2021, but acknowledged that the system had been accessed as early as April 27, 2021.

The breach potentially exposed a frightening number of personal details. The department released a statement revealing a list of elements that may have been compromised in the breach. These include names, phone numbers, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers, and claim information.

The cyberattack forced the department to clean up the mess left, and incur costs to aid the Floridians affected. Part of these efforts include locking accounts targeted in the attack, enhancing network security controls, and improving PIN security controls. To help people affected in the breach, the department notified victims of the breach, reported the incident to the three credit reporting agencies, and purchased a one-year license of identity protection services for all affected claimants.

Statistics Show an Upward Trend

The threat of malice or carelessness from within should be enough to drive any organization to ramp up its efforts to protect its data from threats both on the outside and of its own authorized users. Despite the increasing threat of cyberattacks and other forms of data breaches, the study also revealed curious details about the current state of cybersecurity.

One of the more shocking revelations is that 75 percent of organizations lack any centralized file movement visibility across their environments. This translates to three out of four organizations forgoing tools to see details and context of any file exposure.

Unsurprisingly, the COVID pandemic in 2020 forced many employers to work around restrictions and potential exposure to the pathogen, sending millions of workers out of the office to work from home. During this time, data breaches were 4.5 times likelier on end-user endpoints compared to back-end servers. This stresses the importance of endpoint security.

Data Protection

Numerous organizations are forced to face the embarrassment and financial burden following an attack, as all too often many find themselves responding to cyberattacks rather than preventing them. It is evident from the growing number of attacks that these are a new normal, and that it is imperative that organizations protect themselves before one happens.

SecureDrive and SecureUSB are hardware-encrypted drives that provide safe and reliable offline storage, making them essential parts of a comprehensive security solution. Attacks can also happen from the inside, either from an employee acting maliciously or through an infected USB device. In these cases, SecureGuard offers protection by limiting access to USB ports to whitelisted devices only, and administrators have the option to blacklist or whitelist individual devices.

To learn more about how to set up a comprehensive data security solution, call one of our security experts today at 424-363-8535.

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