The breach initially occurred in November 2018, but Pearson only learned about it in March 2019 when they were informed by the FBI, meaning the violation went undetected for about five months. The WSJ article noted that Pearson has been increasing its focus on digital services lately, and that data theft is often an unintended consequence of educational companies shifting to digital products. Details surrounding how and who performed the attack are still unknown. What we do know is that this delay in breach notification might cause serious ramifications with the EU’s General Data Protection Rule (GDPR), which requires organizations to notify affected parties within 72 hours of identification of a breach.
As a current college student, this breach is particularly concerning, considering its potential affect on my information. After all, this isn’t a failure on students’ part, but the failed responsibility of a third party used by many educational institutions. Furthermore, increased dependency on such third parties is causing organizations everywhere to struggle to gain assurance that their data is secure.
To identify serious issues like these sooner, more preventative measures need to be put in place. Therefore, regular security audits and penetration tests of all assets, including cloud infrastructure, are highly recommended. If all or part of your business relies on a third party, do you have the proper oversight to ensure that your and your clients’ data is safe? For help with oversight, risk mitigation, risk assessment and cybersecurity services, reach out to us at 412-261-3644 or email@example.com.
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Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.