Dishing On Dish Network: Unpacking A Cyberattack

The recent cybersecurity breach that impacted Boost Mobile customers of Dish Network has sparked concern among users regarding the company’s ability to safeguard their sensitive information. The company has attributed this incident to a well-known cybersecurity threat: ransomware. Along the way data was lost and services were interrupted; the mess left behind could go on for months on end. Through it all, there is some hope and opportunity, if only core and comprehensive security can come together.

After the Breach: Response and Impact

After news of the breach spread Dish Network eventually acknowledged the situation, but there was a clear information gap. The organization’s response was insufficient, lacking the coherence, consistency, and transparency we’ve come to expect from a publicly-traded company. In the aftermath, six law firms filed class action suits. The company’s trading posture has also been unsteady, taking a slide downwards.

Dish Network’s situation echoes the ramifications of its response. The potential repercussions for the company’s reputation and customer confidence clearly illustrate the fact that a cybersecurity breach can turn into a major liability and existential threat to a company. Let the Dish Network situation serve as a stark reminder of how important cybersecurity is to the health of a company. It also reinforces the importance of proactive security measures to address threats before they become incidents.

The Thorough Awareness of Comprehensive Security

The best prescription is to address situations like this with a comprehensive security plan. A plan should provide end-to-end visibility into what is normal, what is an anomaly, and what needs more threat hunting. This should extend into every imaginable corner of the enterprise – from the endpoint, to the cloud, to firewalls, to on-premise, and within applications.

While leveraging a comprehensive security approach, it is incumbent to utilize state-of-the-art security technologies (firewalls, intrusion detection systems, encryption) to protect networks and sensitive data. Regularly evaluate and upgrade technologies to ensure a fair pace ahead of emerging threats. Further, it’s important to implement the following guides for a total security approach:

  1. Periodically Assess Vulnerability to Cyber Threats: By conducting threat modeling risk assessments. These assessments will help identify potential weaknesses in security infrastructures, allowing for prioritization in addressing areas of concern.
  2. Develop a Robust and Well-Defined Incident Response Plan: To prevent potential cybersecurity breaches. This plan should outline the steps your organization will take in the event of a breach including communication protocols, investigation procedures, and recovery measures.
  3. Collaborate with Industry Partners: Such as Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs). MSSPs provide security solutions that monitor the flow of data throughout your network, systems, applications, and endpoints. The primary objective of an MSSP is to reduce the dwell time of attackers on a network and respond to threats expediently.
  4. Build Relationships: With other organizations in your industry, leading technology partners, law enforcement, and cybersecurity experts, to share information and best practices on cybersecurity. Collaborative efforts can help strengthen your organization’s security posture and provide valuable insights into emerging threats.
  5. Regularly Test your Security Measures: Conduct regular penetration tests and vulnerability assessments to identify potential weaknesses in your security infrastructure. This will help ensure your security measures are effective and up-to-date.
  6. Foster a Security-Aware Culture: Continue to educate employees on the importance of cybersecurity and their role in protecting company data. Develop a comprehensive security awareness program that includes regular training, updates on current threats, and clear guidelines on how to handle sensitive information.
  7. Maintain Compliance with Industry Standards: Compliance guidelines help maintain security standards. An organization should meet or exceed industry-specific security standards and regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Compliance with these standards not only helps protect customer data, but also demonstrates a commitment to security.
  8. Monitor Third-Party Vendors: Ensure any third-party vendors have robust security practices in place. Regularly review their security policies and request updates on their efforts to maintain a secure environment.
  9. Be Transparent and Proactive in Communication: In the event of a breach, be transparent with customers and stakeholders about the incident, the steps you are taking to address it, and the support you will provide to those affected. Proactive communication is essential to rebuilding trust and maintaining reputation.

Where Dish Network Goes from Here

The Dish Network/Boost Mobile breach is a significant event in the history of the parent company. Yet, with a bit of openness and by gathering a comprehensive security approach, the company can position itself to recover. Combined with a new state of preparedness and vigilance after these impact events, there is an opportunity for a renewed, strengthened message that tells investors and clients the security of their information is serious business.