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How a Cyber-Attack at Avanti Markets Affected 1.6 Million People

Every day, we benefit from using innovative consumer technology that evolves at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, the hackers who compromise that technology seem to evolve their techniques just as quickly. Staying one step ahead can be difficult for both corporations and consumers alike. In a world where data moves in unique ways, it can be difficult to spot flaws in systems. That's why cybersecurity awareness should be at the forefront of everyone's mind. And a recent attack on the Avanti Markets is yet another reminder.

How Cyber-Attacks Enhance Overall Cybersecurity Awareness

Avanti Markets are popular cutting-edge food kiosks popular in many workplaces and offices nationwide. Simply by using your thumbprint as a payment confirmation, it's a hassle-free way of getting a quick lunch. The company's biometric thumb scanning payment technology is certainly innovative, but not bulletproof from cyber-threat.

On July fourth of this year, that became painfully clear. Avanti uncovered a data breach which very well may have had an affect on the 1.6 million people across 46 states that it claims as customers. The hack potentially compromised e-mail addresses, credit card information, and perhaps most concerning, customer biometric fingerprint data.

Hackers used the kiosks to implant ingenious malware technology that allowed this information to be mined, and the company is still trying to learn how many units were affected.

Despite Avanti's great response to the breach, the attack still did a lot of damage. The company did most everything right; they immediately notified the public, shut down the kiosks, and brought in public sector experts along with the FBI. Yet despite all that, it's hard to say whether or not consumers will still put their faith in Avanti's innovative technology.

Data breaches such as this are increasingly common, and proactive cybersecurity awareness is now a must for almost all businesses. The numbers are staggering. One study estimated the yearly damages from attacks like these at nearly $6 trillion by 2018 (that's compared to an already staggering $3 trillion in 2015). Bitdefender, monitoring the consumer industry, has argued that 34 percent of U.S. based companies, from Target to Home Depot and many in between, have already been hit with online data breaches.

In the face of this growing threat, a simple post-attack reaction is no longer sufficient; cybersecurity awareness must extend to all corners of a corporation. Cooperation and coordination with experts in the field is key. And having the right platforms, communication, and managerial dexterity will go a long way toward protecting your assets. If you want to learn more, contact NC4 or read our blog for more information!


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