On November 24th, 2014 a group of hackers calling themselves “The Guardians of Peace” or the “GOP” leaked large amounts of data from Sony entertainment’s internal servers. This data included sensitive and controversial emails between executive, footage of currently in production films, and top secret scripts of films that were being considered for production. All told the cost of damages as a direct result of the breach is estimated to be approximately $100 million
Sources are still uncertain about the length of time over which the hack took place, however they estimate that the perpetrators had acquired access to Sony’s Internal Infrastructure for over a year before the discovery of the infiltration in November. These are some of the most important lessons that can be learned from this massive breach.
Data Breaches Cost Way More Than Just Money
There’s a reason private information stays private. A lot of the most damning information leaked to the world had to do with the emails of Amy Pascal, Hollywood super-agent. When her complaints about celebrities such as Angelina Jolie became public, they irreversibly damaged the reputation of Sony among the most influential in the movie business.
Even worse, the leaks revealed internal dissent about the quality of the films that Sony produced, subverting the marketing efforts of the studio. Everyone from directors to actors to writers now view Sony in a lesser light, reducing the amount of talent willing to work for the company.
No One is Safe From Data Breaches
As one of the biggest, most advanced technology companies in the world, Sony should be nearly impervious to hacker attacks. The leak was so massive that it acts as a cautionary tale for any business who assumes their digital assets are safe. All companies should take this as an example of what happens when poor security provides opportunities for hackers to steal prized data.
Encrypt Everything, Destroy the Rest
Encrypting information such as email makes it extremely difficult, even in the event of a data breach, the make use of what’s stolen. Of course, destroying old data prevents this information from being leaked in the first place.
Companies don’t have to suffer through what Sony did if they make data security a top priority. Teaching your employees safe data practices is the first step; finding a good data security IT company ensures that gaps in security are closed and remain so, protecting your company from data-based catastrophe.