5 Companies That Were Hacked In 2023 And What They Could Have Done Differently

Companies That Were Hacked - AZCOMP Technologies

The year 2023 proved to be a turbulent one for the world of cybersecurity, with several colossal companies falling prey to hackers exploiting vulnerabilities in their network security. Below we detail 5 high-profile breaches that occurred this year alone, where these companies went wrong, and what the experts at AZCOMP Technologies would recommend to avoid this cybersecurity pitfall. 

Why Network Security Is Essential for Your Business 

Network security is crucial for any business, regardless of its size or industry. In today’s digital age, where businesses heavily rely on technology and the internet to carry out their operations, protecting sensitive information and data is paramount. Network security ensures that your business is protected from various cyber threats, such as hacking, data breaches, and malware attacks. Here are several reasons why network security is vital for your business:

  1. Protection of sensitive data: Businesses store a vast amount of sensitive information, including customer data, financial records, trade secrets, and intellectual property. Data such as these are highly valuable and must be protected from unauthorized access. Network security measures, such as firewalls, encryption, and access controls, help safeguard this sensitive data from being compromised
  2. Prevention of data breaches: Data breaches can be catastrophic for businesses, your wallet, and your reputation. A single breach can result in the loss of customer trust, legal consequences, and significant financial losses. Implementing network security measures, such as layered intrusion detection systems and regular vulnerability assessments, helps identify and mitigate vulnerabilities before they are exploited by cybercriminals.
  3. Mitigation of financial losses: Cyberattacks can lead to significant financial losses for businesses. According to the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million. This includes expenses for investigation, remediation, legal actions, and customer notification. By investing in network security, businesses can minimize the risk of such financial losses and associated costs.
  4. Compliance with regulations: Depending on your industry, your business may be subject to various regulations and compliance standards, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Network security plays a vital role in ensuring that your business complies with these regulations, avoiding penalties and legal consequences.
  5. Maintenance of business continuity: Cyberattacks can disrupt business operations, leading to prolonged downtime and loss of productivity. Network security measures, such as backup systems, disaster recovery plans, and real-time monitoring, help maintain business continuity by minimizing the impact of cyber incidents and ensuring a swift recovery.

5 Companies Hacked in 2023

Network Security Breach #1. Twitter

Twitter faced a significant breach in 2023, marking a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities even major platforms can encounter. The breach was attributed to a sophisticated social engineering attack, where attackers manipulated Twitter employees into providing unauthorized access to the internal systems. This breach exposed sensitive user data and raised concerns about the security of one of the world’s largest social media platforms. 

What Went Wrong: Twitter should have implemented more robust employee training programs focusing on recognizing and thwarting social engineering attempts. Additionally, enhancing multi-factor authentication measures and implementing stricter access controls could have fortified their defenses, preventing unauthorized access and minimizing the impact of the breach.

Network Security Breach #2. Yum Brands

Yum Brands—The parent company of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut— fell victim to a significant cybersecurity breach, shedding light on the vulnerabilities within its digital infrastructure. The hack was initiated through a combination of sophisticated phishing techniques and exploitation of outdated software, allowing attackers to gain unauthorized access to sensitive corporate data. The incident underscored the importance of regularly updating software and conducting comprehensive employee training to recognize and thwart phishing attempts. 

What Went Wrong: Yum Brands should have implemented more stringent security measures, such as advanced threat detection systems and continuous monitoring, to identify and neutralize potential threats swiftly. Strengthening their incident response plan and collaborating with cybersecurity experts could have further mitigated the impact of the breach and fortified their defenses against evolving cyber threats.

Network Security Breach #3. T-Mobile 

T-Mobile faced a significant cybersecurity breach that exposed sensitive data for over 37 million customers, highlighting the persistent challenges in safeguarding telecommunications infrastructure. The breach occurred due to a combination of factors, including outdated security protocols and a failure to patch known vulnerabilities promptly. Attackers exploited these weaknesses to gain unauthorized access to T-Mobile’s systems, compromising vast amounts of personal information. 

What Went Wrong: T-Mobile should have implemented more rigorous patch management practices and ensured timely updates were met to close potential entry points for attackers. Investing in advanced intrusion detection systems and conducting regular security audits could have proactively identified and addressed vulnerabilities. Unauthorized access could have been prevented with the proper network security solutions. 

Network Security Breach #4. MGM Resorts International 

What started with a phone call to the IT help desk of an alleged employee who was locked out of the system, MGM Resorts International now faces over $10 million in fees and repair as ransomware took down the casino giant. After impersonating an employee, the hackers received administrative access where ransomware was released across the network, shutting down their systems, and gaining access to secure data. 

What Went Wrong: MGM Resorts International should have implemented a multi-factor authentication system for an added layer of protection. Employee education on current phishing or vishing (voice call phishing) tactics could have prevented this attack from occurring. Even huge companies have a backdoor to their network that hackers try to access or breakthrough. Having an IT team like AZCOMP Technologies on your side will ensure your business doesn’t fall victim to a network attack.

Network Security Breach #5. MOVEit

MOVEit, a file transfer tool used by domestic and international government entities, airlines, and financial institutions to name a few, were all breached by a targeted SQL injection attack. An SQL (Structured Query Language) attack occurs when a hacker injects SQL code into a business’ database which gives the hacker access to personal data and internal/administrative access. This attack demonstrated that without regular maintenance of your security network system, hackers can gain access and fundamentally take a business down. 

What Went Wrong: To avoid falling victim to a Structured Query Language attack, MOVEit should have implemented a better software development methodology to set a secure foundation from the start of the development. Adding tools such as user input validation and routine vulnerability testing can help sanitize any inputted data to remain secure in the event of an SQL attack.

AZCOMP Technologies Offers Better Network Security Solutions

Oftentimes small businesses think they won’t be a cyber attack victim, but that is false! Hackers frequently target small businesses knowing this is a common thought process. Without a proper network security plan in place, your business is at risk. At AZCOMP Technologies, we pride ourselves on offering a layered security approach—making a potential network security breach less likely to happen. This offers your business, its employees, and its customers peace of mind. 

AZCOMP Technologies offers custom services to ensure businesses of any size are secure, but at minimum we recommend the following network security measures: 

  • Network design and installation: Make sure your infrastructure is built securely from the ground up. 
  • Secure remote access: If employees are accessing internal data remotely, make sure they have a secure network to do so.
  • Firewalls and anti-ransomware: Ensure you have protection to detect malware and viruses, and also have software that acts as a gatekeeper to your network.
  • Employee education: Ensure your staff is properly trained to know the latest phishing and virus tactics. One wrong click and your company can end up like Twitter in 2023. 

Network security is crucial for small businesses for a multitude of reasons. It protects sensitive information such as financial data, customer records, and intellectual property from being accessed or compromised by unauthorized individuals. This safeguarding of data not only ensures the trust and loyalty of customers but also prevents potential legal consequences and financial losses that could cripple a small business. Small businesses are seen as attractive targets by cybercriminals due to their often limited security measures, making them vulnerable to various types of attacks such as malware, phishing, and ransomware attacks. By implementing robust network security measures, small businesses can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to these attacks, protecting their reputation and avoiding potential financial ruin.

If you have a small to medium sized business and are curious about upgrading your network security, we can help! AZCOMP Technologies offers technology assessments where we evaluate your solutions and make a custom network security plan. Don’t fall victim to a cyberattack in 2024, contact us to schedule your technology assessment today. 

author avatar
Byron Adams
Byron has spent nearly two decades helping thousands of small businesses resolve technology issues, design technology solutions, improve technology security, plan and budget for technology projects, and improve business productivity through technology. As the Technology Director at AZCOMP Technologies, he leads a team that provides Managed IT Services our clients. Our goal is to "deliver phenomenal" to our clients - AZCOMP's first core value. By outsourcing their IT needs to AZCOMP, Byron serves our clients as their CTO. Byron helps our clients get their time back, allowing them to focus on their business and what they do best. In addition, they enjoy more predictable technology costs, increased employee productivity, and improved cyber-security posture.

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