This week's IT security stories to watch show even the world's largest home improvement retailer cannot avoid cyber attackers. Hackers reportedly attacked The Home Depot (HD), and the company is currently investigating the data breach.
Managed service providers (MSPs) can learn from this cyber attack, however, and take steps to protect their customers' critical data against hackers.
How did the Home Depot cyber attack happen? Learn more about this incident and other IT security news in this week's stories to watch:
1. Home Depot suffers a data breach
Home Depot spokesperson Paula Drake told Krebs on Security her company began investigating a credit and debit card breach last week. This home improvement retailer also is working with banks and law enforcement agencies to learn more about the incident.
"I can confirm we are looking into some unusual activity and we are working with our banking partners and law enforcement to investigate," Drake said. "Protecting our customers' information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers."
Frank Blake, Home Depot's CEO, said he wants to ensure his customers are comfortable shopping at his company's stores.
"The most important thing for us is making sure that our customers feel comfortable shopping at The Home Depot, and that's going to be our guiding principle," he told Fortune.
2. Kaspersky Lab finds cyber criminals are targeting financial institutions
A new Kaspersky Lab survey revealed cyber attackers are targeting financial services firms now more than ever before.
The international survey of business-to-business (B2B) IT professionals showed 93 percent of financial services organizations were exposed to cyber threats in the past 12 months, yet one-third of these organizations still do not protect users' endpoints or implement specialized protection inside their own infrastructure.
"While it is encouraging that financial services organizations recognize the damage to their reputation that can result from a cyber attack, it is concerning that many firms have not taken the necessary steps to implement proper security," Ross Hogan, Kaspersky's global head of fraud prevention, said in a prepared statement. "We are seeing more and more cyber attacks targeting financial organizations, and while many will take action to reimburse the financial losses as a result of cybercrime, the damage done to a financial organization's reputation isn't as easy to repair."
3. Apple responds to iCloud data breach
Apple CEO Tim Cook told The Wall Street Journal his company plans to start sending notifications any time an iCloud user tries to change his or her password.
Cook also noted his company wants to ensure iCloud users fully understand the dangers of cyber attacks.
"When I step back from this terrible scenario that happened and say what more could we have done, I think about the awareness piece," he said. "I think we have a responsibility to ratchet that up. That's not really an engineering thing."
4. Dairy Queen reviews data breach
Fast food and soft serve restaurant Dairy Queen is still investigating the cause of a data breach that may have affected its customers.
Dairy Queen first reported the data breach last month, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune noted only a small cluster of locations have been impacted.
Patrick McBride, vice president of marketing and communications at cyber intelligence firm iSight Partners, pointed out it often takes months or even years to understand a data breach's effects on a company like Dairy Queen.
"In trying to sort out exactly what happened, how many stores and how many customers are involved, there's a lot of dots to connect [and] a lot of breadcrumbs to follow. It's always a difficult task," he said.