Managed services companies, CTOs and IT professionals alike have already experienced a turbulent year with unexpected cybersecurity breaches. The recent surge in online trading opens up a whole new sector in the cybersecurity world. If your employees are participating in online stock trading, your company’s data may be more susceptible to a data breach.
At the end of January, America watched as social media users banded together to create major fluctuations in the stock market.
The stock market has always been fragile and at risk for instantaneous changes. However, no one could have guessed that a group of Reddit users would’ve exposed its true volatility! This small group alone managed to create a major surge in Gamestop’s stock, encouraging other social media users to join in on this stock market demolition. After just a day, the world watched as the company’s stock increased by over 1,700 percent.
Not only did this throw a major wrench in the plans for billion-dollar hedge funds, but it also opened up the world of the stock market to amateur investors and average citizens who had previously avoided participating in online stock trading.
This free online stock trading app jumped to the top for the most downloaded software during the week of the stock market frenzy. Due to its user-friendly features and popularity, Robinhood became the go-to platform for amateur trading.
However, this major increase of Robinhood users may encourage cybercriminals to flock to the app. In fact, Robinhood recently experienced a data breach in October of 2020. According to Bloomberg, hackers managed to compromise over 2,000 Robinhood users’ accounts. Many victims claimed that they had set up account protection through the application but still managed to get hacked.
While any person is at risk, this poses an even greater threat if an employee is using Robinhood on a company device. This could potentially allow hackers to access critical company data.
While many social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all were involved in the Gamestop stock surge, Reddit was the original culprit. The Reddit thread called r/WallStreetBets originally created the idea to dominate the Gamestop stock as a joke. However, this quickly became a reality when users realized the power they had.
In general, Reddit is known to be unsafe. The application is notorious for its endless stream of content and user anonymity. It’s very scarcely regulated, and since it’s anonymous, it’s a place where users go to do and say anything they want. Essentially, every person on this social media site is a stranger.
Undoubtedly, usage of the application is a risk. In fact, there’s a forum dedicated to hackers titled r/hackers where cybercriminals discuss tips for breaching security.
In addition, Reddit also endured a major security breach in 2018 that disclosed a variety of user data. Reddit even acknowledged this as a “serious” data leak including personal information such as usernames and emails as well as highly sensitive information such as passwords and private conversations.
Regardless of the severity of the data breach, Reddit users should beware as their information will always be susceptible to hackers.
Vulnerability of Social Media
Without a doubt, social media is a challenge in terms of cyber threats. From fake accounts to scammers, it’s virtually impossible to escape cybercriminals when participating on social media platforms.
Today, we mindlessly offer our information to social media platforms with the confidence that our data will stay protected from outsiders—especially on channels like Facebook and Twitter. However, social media is known to be a gateway for malware. While users are interacting on social media, they tend to trust the majority of things they see. Users are likely to interact with third parties without realizing the information they’re releasing creates an opportunity for “spear-phishing”. In this type of attack, a hacker first collects data on the intended target then sends a fake email, which usually involves social media platforms.
Social media is often the place where individuals enjoy sharing bits and pieces of their personal lives. To them, this may seem insignificant but it gives hackers information to feed off of. Since users have their guard down on social media, this creates an opportunity for cybercriminals to spread malware.
Unfortunately, for companies, social media cannot be controlled, especially outside of work. This means, at any point, employees are susceptible to cybersecurity risks while using social media that can later backfire on a company’s data.
MDL Technology is Here to Help
During these unpredictable events, like the GameStop stock surge, truly anything could happen. However, MDL Technology wants to ensure your data is secure from potential breaches, malware or spear phishing.
The majority of released data is a result of human error, so the use of popular applications like Robinhood, Reddit and other social media platforms can create a high risk for companies and employees. Every 39 seconds a cyber attack occurs, and we want to make it our job to monitor your businesses’ practices so you can avoid releasing sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords, to outsiders.
Social networks are a gold mine for hackers, and it’s crucial to know what type of information is the most significant to cybercriminals. To help cope with human errors, MDL offers cybersecurity training to our clients and their staff members. These comprehensive training sessions teach your employees protective measures so they know how to avoid data leaks. In addition, we instruct individuals on how to handle any cybersecurity-related crises. Without knowledge of common cyber threats, it’s impossible to know what practices may allow critical data to become public.
Our goal is to create a proactive approach to cybersecurity. While it’s important to know how to handle a data break crisis, we want to avoid this measure at all costs. The more your team understands the warning signs of cyber threats, the less likely your data will be released outside of the company.