If a data breach can happen to NASA it can happen to you!

11 Feb

All eyes were on NASA when it was recently announced that it had suffered a data breach…2 months prior to the announcement!

An internal memo within the company revealed that employee personal information had been leaked. And just like that; NASA became the latest major organisation to fall victim to cybercrime. Why did NASA wait so long to tell employees about the attack? To date, NASA has provided no real reason for this.

Who is affected by the NASA data breach?

The space agency advised its staff members that an unauthorised party had accessed not one, but two of the company servers, on the 23rd of October 2018. The accessed data contained current and past employee personal details such as names, Social Security numbers and more. The employees were encouraged to take the necessary action to prevent potential identity theft and fraud.

Any employees working for NASA between July 2006 and October 2016 were affected. Unfortunately, NASA is unable to confirm what was done with the personal data that was accessed.

What NASA has to say about it

Bob Gibbs, the assistant administrator of NASA, told employees that every effort was being made to investigate the extent of the data breach. He also sent out a company-wide memo stating “NASA is continuing its efforts to secure all servers, and is reviewing its processes and procedures to ensure that the latest security practices are being followed throughout the agency”.

What the experts say

Some cybersecurity industry experts have implied that cybercriminals see NASA as a challenge to test their skills by trying to gain access to their systems. This is clearly illustrated by the fact that the company experienced over 5 400 computer security incidents between 2010 and 2011 alone.

In 2011, according to the BBC, NASA experienced a rather serious breach. Hackers gained full functional control of the key computers of the agency and were then able to change, copy, and even delete potentially sensitive information and files.

No missions were compromised

NASA has confirmed that up until this point, there is no evidence to suggest that any current or future missions have been affected by the data breach.

If it can happen to NASA, it can happen to you!

When you consider the mammoth size and sensitive nature of NASA’s work, one would assume that they have an intensive cybersecurity system in place. And they do. It’s scary to think that someone can breach that kind of security and put missions and lives at such risk. If it can happen to NASA with their security systems, it’s time to start thinking about how much risk you leave yourself and your business open too.

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