Patch Success guide

Five of the worst security breaches from unpatched software

And… Where are they now?

Unpatched software was the downfall of these organizations.

Learn from their mistakes, get current, and stay vigilant about patching. Let’s discover what happened and where these brands are today.

Equifax (2017)

Equifax (2017)

records
Records compromised:
143 million users
Security hole exploited:
Apache Struts

Sometimes thousands of devices need the same content at the exact same time.

From lawsuits to fines, covering punitive damages and striving to get back on top, Equifax has been apologizing since early 2016. I guess age counts for something as this 120 year old company is still standing strong with a reported revenue of over $3.3 billion.

Heartland Payment Systems

Heartland Payment Systems (2008)

records
Records compromised:
134 million users
Security hole exploited:
unencrypted system, malware plants

Where are they now?

Heartland Payment Systems (HPS) was a fortune 1000 company but lost significant revenue after their breach. However, after some strategic moves, HPS merged with Global payments, coming out on top servicing nearly 2.5 million merchants in 29 countries.

Uber (2016)

Uber (2016)

records
Records compromised:
57 million users
Security hole exploited:
third-party vendor

Where are they now?

Still a popular service, Uber suffered a severe valuation drop (from $68 billion to $48 billion) after it was discovered that the Uber team attempted to cover up the hack. The number of records compromised isn’t as high as some other notable cases, but the terrible response from Uber is what ranks them 3rd on this list. The CSO was fired and the company has undergone several brand changes since then.

Target (2013)

Target (2013)

records
Records compromised:
110 million users
Security hole exploited:
unpatched third-party vendor systems

Where are they now?

At Target, it’s probably fair to say that 2013 is still filed under the category “public relations catastrophe.” While Target’s response was also not great, the trendy one-stop shop giant has recovered quickly in the eyes of the consumer with their celebrity endorsements and flashy social media accounts.

Marriott (2014–18)

Marriott (2014–18)

records
Records compromised:
500+ million people!
Security hole exploited:
unpatched software

Where are they now?

Even after their initial struggles in 2014, their revenue the following year still increased. As of October of 2018, their valuation remains at over $39 bn. The breach, however, was disclosed in November. This one isn’t over yet, and there could be more coming out of the woodwork here.

Read our guide to patch success

Today’s cybersecurity landscape is a forbidding one, there are many things organizations need to do in order to protect themselves. Many new security approaches exist to combat novel, evolving threats. Some things, however, remain both unchanged and (to a significant degree) unheeded. It’s still the case, for instance, that the most single most effective thing any organization can do to avoid being breached is to patch thoroughly, frequently, and promptly.

Read our guide to patch success
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