“Twitch’s breach is a prime example of why it is so important to invest in cybersecurity architecture and protect against any form of devastating data breach that could lead to reputational harm.”
The livestreaming platform – purchased by Amazon for $970m in 2014 – is understood to still be trying to figure out how it happened. While this investigation unfolds, security experts are already warning of the potentially serious consequences for the business.
The Extent of Twitch’s Data Breach
Twitch is famous for fiercely guarding its operational details, and this includes elements such as how much streamers are paid. Unfortunately, this data breach has exposed this kind of information to the world.
Within the 125GB of data involved, which was reportedly shared in online forums such as 4chan, were folders containing business documents, under-the-hood software files and codes that included the platforms’ source code. While Twitch was quick to point out that users’ personal data – such as usernames, passwords and credit card information – were not exposed in the breach, the hack appears to have already fractured the platform’s relationship with some of its creators, who are the backbone of its business.
The documents posted online appear to show how much Twitch’s top streamers earn via the platform, with some receiving millions by creating videos on the Amazon-owned site. The release of this sensitive information may also be seen as untimely for Twitch, with YouTube and Facebook Gaming reportedly said to be offering huge salaries to snap up gaming talent. This leak could push some of Twitch’s best creators to switch platforms and take their audiences elsewhere if they are disgruntled over the breach.
Twitch’s breach is a prime example of why it is so important to invest in cybersecurity architecture and protect against any form of devastating data breach that could lead to reputational harm.
The Importance of Investing in Cybersecurity
Twitch’s data breach is not the first example of the risks posed by cybersecurity failures recently. In July 2021, UK weapons sales website Guntrader suffered a data hack that impacted some 110,000 users, some of whom are registered firearm owners. We are helping victims claim the compensation they deserve as victims of this serious breach of privacy.
In this instance, the personal information exposed was incredibly detailed. It included names, home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, IP addresses, and ID numbers, as well as details of the users’ account creation date, last login details and even latitude and longitude coordinates of their last login. Alarmingly, it has since been reported that the leaked location information has been published in a Google Earth-compatible format, potentially exposing the exact locations of victims.
How Businesses Can Protect Themselves from Cybercriminals
While the Twitch and Guntrader breaches differ in the level of detail exposed, both are examples of the devastating impacts a data hack can have on a business. The vast majority of cyberattacks can be prevented by implementing strong and effective defenses against cybercriminals. Additional sensible steps could further reduce the risk of a successful hack, including the requirement for all employees to routinely update their passwords, and applying two-factor authentication. These are simple and effective measures that can really help to mitigate the risk of a cyberattack in an age where we are all seemingly under threat.
No matter the size of a business, it is important to continuously train staff on new and emerging cyber threats and how to combat them. The upfront investment in adequate security provisions can be invaluable and could save organizations considerable time and money dealing with the aftermath of an attack. Without the correct planning, a cyberattack could cost millions in fines from regulatory authorities and could cause irreparable damage to a business’s reputation and credibility. On top of that, compensation litigation for the victims can easily run into the millions – or even billions – as well.
The Twitch hack is yet another example highlighting the importance of the risks and consequences relating to cybersecurity. Not only did the Amazon-owned platform have commercially sensitive business strategy details posted online, but its creators – the lifeblood of its business – may switch to rivals now that their personal data has been exposed.
While the upfront cost of cybersecurity may seem significant, such costs can pale in comparison to the vast and permanent damage that a data breach can cause.
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