Virgin America has notified its staff and contractors that a hacker may have gained unauthorized access to their login details.

The airlines monitoring systems spotted an intrusion attempt on March 13, 2017. After the attempt was discovered, Virgins’ incident response plan was executed and investigators were brought in and law enforcement notified of the breach.

The “login information and password that you use to access Virgin America’s corporate network” was said to have been accessed by the unauthorized third party.

The company believes follow-up phishing attacks will be targeting the company and its staff which may use the login details in an attempt to elicit further sensitive information from the impacted users, such as passwords, Social Security numbers, and bank account information.  

Reports suggest that 3,100 staff and contractors could have had their login credentials stolen, and around 110 may have also had their personal information stolen, including email addresses, Social Security numbers, and drivers license details.

This swift approach made by Virgin to spot the breach, stop the breach, act accordingly, and execute their incident response plan is a perfect example of using security best practices to limit the damage made by a data breach. Their security monitoring tools in place were able to notify them in real time that internal systems were breached and allowed them to mitigate the impact of the risk and ensure the impacted individuals were notified immediately.

This approach needs to be taken by organizations worldwide. If an organization wants to maintain security and reduce the financial fall out of these attacks, the emphasis has to change. The chances of stopping all breaches are unlikely at best with a prevention only strategy. Instead, with non-stop, continuous visibility of what is going on in the IT estate, an organization can at least spot in real-time the unusual changes that may represent a breach, and take action before it is too late.

NNT’s Breach Detection solution using Host Intrusion Detection Technology provides you with closed-loop, intelligent change control, so if and when defenses are breached, you’re alerted in real-time and can take action before data theft and damage goes too far.


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