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Pearson, Major Education Publishing Giant, Suffers Data Breach

Pearson Notifies Schools Impacted By Breach

In November 2018, the massive education publishing giant, Pearson, suffered a data breach. Although the breach was reported to the FBI in March 2019, it wasn’t until last week that the organization had an idea of the full extent of damages.

An exact number of records impacted is unclear. However, it has been confirmed, over 13,000 educational institutions have been impacted. The breach impacts past and current student files, including names and birthdates. A letter will be sent to all potentially impacted individuals, notifying them of the breach, along with information to obtain free credit monitoring services.

How Do Breaches Happen?

With news breaking weekly about yet another data breach, consumers are likely wondering, “How does this happen?” And they should. Unfortunately, there is not just one factor. Data breaches occur for various reasons, whether it is a lack of proper cyber security protection, improper patch management, open remote desktop protocol (RDP) ports, rogue employees, and more.

The best ways for organizations to thwart data breaches is to implement the following:

  • Deploy a security solution that implements application whitelisting
  • Keep all operating systems and third-party applications updated
  • Disable all RDP ports that are not used
  • Enable two-factor authentication
  • Enforce role-based access for employees
  • Implement strong password requirements

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