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Verizon Breach Not Seen as a Sign of Incidents to Come

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Verizon Breach Not Seen as a Sign of Incidents to Come

March 30, 2016

  By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

In the battle among the top wireless providers, Verizon likes to tout its network reach, awards and capabilities. It often positions itself as the market leader and quickly shoots down any claim by AT&T (News - Alert), Sprint or T-Mobile that they have something on par in terms of service offerings. While this type of positioning is great when you want to dominate, it can also make you a prime target for hackers.

While the typical consumer doesn’t have much to worry about this time, enterprise users may have been affected by this latest breach. Verizon (News - Alert) Enterprise Solutions was the target and hackers were able to breach the network and gain access to roughly 1.5 million enterprise clients, according to this CRN report. For the master agent, this breach has the potential to have wide-ranging implications on telecom and cloud security solutions overall.

According to Verizon, hackers were able to breach the network, gaining access to basic contact center. The telco claims that no customer proprietary network information or other data was compromised. The data that was taken was found for sale on an underground cyberforum, highlighting that no company is immune from attack and even the largest has the potential for a network vulnerability that will be found by hackers.

While the exact cause of the breach is still unclear, the fact that Verizon was vulnerable at all points to the potential that anyone can fall victim to the right hacker at the right time. Verizon reported, however, that they did find and fix a vulnerability in the enterprise client portal that a hacker had used to collect basic contact information on Verizon enterprise clients. To date, no consumer customers have been impacted.

Still, the news of the breach is sure to shake the industry, one which continues to be told that their providers can deliver a much higher level of security than they can. It doesn’t help that this isn’t the first data breach in recent months. In October, TalkTalk, a British telecom company, disclosed a breach that affected roughly four million of its customers. That particular breach exposed names, dates of birth, addresses and credit card information. TerraCom and YourTel America also reported breaches in 2015.

Even with these hits, there are some experts who believe these are simply isolated incidents and not an indication of a widespread problem. Jane Wright, senior analyst covering security at Technology Business Research told CRN that the Verizon incident is not necessarily a foreshadowing of more telecom provider breaches to come.

As hackers continue to try to outsmart security researchers and aim to make a profit from captured information, breaches will continue to be a threat. As such, the master agent must be able to position its offerings as on the forefront of technology to protect against vulnerabilities.

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