Geek, History, Tech

Data Disasters We Can Learn From

In todays technologically advanced world Data is everything. However true this is, there are still ways to leave yourself open and susceptible to data loss, or a breach of some kind. More than ever though, it is important to keep your data safe and make every precaution necessary to make sure it stays that way in the future. Companies and even government entities are not perfect as we all know, in the past there have been many disasters that we could learn a lesson from. Today we have compiled a list of 5 data disasters that could have been avoided and shine like a warning beacon to companies of the future!

Storing 32 Million Passwords in Plain Text

One Of The 32 Million With A RockYou Account? You May Want To Change All Your Passwords. Like Now.

Friends don’t let friends store user data in plain text (especially passwords). It needs to be encrypted, as Social networking application vendor RockYou Inc. learned back in 2009 when they had a data breach that exposed 32 million usernames and passwords and spawned a media disaster for their brand. Needless to say, don’t do what they did, take the basic data encryption precautions to avoid a mess like they had.

Natural Disasters

Websites Scramble As Hurricane Sandy Floods Data Centers

This is an example of how preparedness for any sort of disaster can pay off big time, in this case during a hurricane. Sites like Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Gawker had some problems during Hurricane Sandy – but if they weren’t prepared it could have been catastrophic to their brands, luckily they had minimal downtime compared to what they could have endured if they didn’t have a proper disaster recovery plan and team in place to manage the data.

Heartland Payment Systems Breach

Feds Indict Five In Massive Credit-Card Data Breach Scheme

One of the largest reported cardholder data breaches in history happened to this payment processing firm when hackers exploited a SQL injection vulnerability that allowed them to break into systems and install sniffer software. In August 2009, a federal grand jury indicted a former Secret Service informant and two Russian conspirators on charges of hacking into Heartland, Hannaford, and three other retailers to steal over 130 million credit and debit card numbers. Last month, Heartland agreed to pay VISA over $60M to cover losses experienced by cardholders put at risk by this breach. Make sure that SQL is airtight!

Common Household Disasters

Data loss isn’t exclusive to big companies, it can happen to you too, right in your own home! It is important to backup any data that is important (on external hard drives or the cloud, preferably) to you because you never know when you are going to leave that SD card in your clothes when they are being washed, or when you go for that stroll in the park and drop your phone in the pond, or when you spill your drink on your computer, or any other data containing electronic. Morale of the story is be prepared, be careful, and backup that data!

More Data Disasters!

Need more examples of what not to do when it comes to managing your data? Check out these great (or not so great?) examples 🙂


7 Data Disasters More Embarrassing Than Reinhart and Rogoff’s

8 Funny Data Disasters of 2010

What data tips do you have to avoid such disasters? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

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