What Can You Learn from JP Morgan’s Data Breach

On the heels of the Home Depot data breach comes another case of customer data being compromised, this time from the largest bank in the United States. JPMorgan Chase reported that information from more than 76 million households and 7 million small businesses may have been compromised when hackers gained access to its systems on an administrative level.

Account holder names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses are thought to have been revealed, as well as internal notes about those account holders. JPMorgan Chase asserts that there is no evidence that information like account numbers, passwords, birth-dates, or social security numbers was leaked in the breach.

What This Means for Business

As TechTarget pointed out, in both the Target and JPMorgan Chase data breach, no full-time Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) was overseeing operations. In the wake of these breaches, businesses are beginning to realize the important role risk management and security play in business today. In the coming years, businesses will likely see the CISO role become a very important specialty in the field of technology, attracting higher salaries and the best talent in the field. For small businesses, these duties will be entrusted to the provider, who will staff the best and brightest to oversee cloud servers for a large number of clients.

How to Protect Yourself

Without information like social security numbers and birth-dates the collected information isn’t enough in itself to risk identity theft, experts say. However, a JPMorgan spokesperson points out that consumers should always keep an eye on their accounts. The biggest problems may come from the email addresses that were compromised in the breach, with this information potentially being used to launch phishing attempts. Through these attempts, information such as social security numbers and account passwords could be obtained. Small businesses should remind users to never click on links or download attachments from unknown parties. When they receive an email about an existing account instead of clicking on the link on that email, users should always go to the site on their own and update any information there.

Safeguarding your business’s applications and systems is your business’s top priority, since securing your own customer data is an important part of your long-term success. By ensuring that your employees keep their own passwords as secure as possible by avoiding phishing attempts, you’ll be taking a vital first step. When working with a cloud provider, be sure to ask questions about the role they take in preventing hacking attempts and keeping your data safe.

RIM May Split into Two

What do you do when your company has sales in the toilet, struggling to innovate, and losing throngs of customers to biggest, faster companies? Why, you panic and do whatever it takes. RIM, or Research In Motion, is doing just that. They’ve hired experts to come in and examine ways the company can stay alive in one form or another.

Their first tactic may be to license all their propriety technology to anyone who will pay for it. There is even word that RIM management is attempting to be bought out by Amazon or Facebook. However, that may not be possible as RIM’s messaging service, BBM, has fallen behind Apple’s iMessage and Google’s Gtalk. On the infrastructure front, RIM can’t compete with Verizon and AT&T’s cloud storage capabilities which are finally turning a profit on those services.

If that doesn’t work, RIM has hired JP Morgan and RBC Capital to help them find a paradigm shift. It may result in splitting the company into two separate pieces to help shelter RIM’s looming debt and falling stock value. The two pieces would consist of a hand set maker and messaging service. Whatever the company will do, it needs to do it soon. Analysts at Morgan Stanley are predicting that RIM will miss all its marks. RIM’s CEO, Thorsten Heins, made claims that the company will bounce back and bring value to stakeholders.  But with their stock down 32% this year, I’m skeptical.