Thieves Steal 35.5M Customers' Data from Vans Sneakers Maker

VF Corporation, the parent company of brands like Vans and North Face, disclosed that 35.5 million customers were impacted when criminals breached their systems in December. The announcement, made in an SEC filing, didn't specify the type of information accessed. However, VF Corp assured that social security numbers, bank details, and payment card information were not compromised, as they are not stored in its IT systems. The company also stated that there is no evidence of consumer passwords being accessed, though the investigation is ongoing.

Security Officer Comments:
The disclosure focused on consumer-related data, with no mention of staff or business partners. VF Corp mentioned some operational disruption, with IT systems now substantially restored. The attack, suspected to involve ransomware, led to inventory replenishment issues and customer order cancellations. The company has not confirmed the ransomware aspect, a common practice in such disclosures. AlphV/BlackCat gang claimed the attack days after its disclosure, but the company has not confirmed this to be the case.

Suggested Corrections:
Backup your data, system images, and configurations, regularly test them, and keep the backups offline: Ensure that backups are regularly tested and that they are not connected to the business network, as many ransomware variants try to find and encrypt or delete accessible backups. Maintaining current backups offline is critical because if your network data is encrypted with ransomware, your organization can restore systems.

Update and patch systems promptly: This includes maintaining the security of operating systems, applications, and firmware in a timely manner. Consider using a centralized patch management system; use a risk- based assessment strategy to drive your patch management program.

Test your incident response plan: There's nothing that shows the gaps in plans more than testing them. Run through some core questions and use those to build an incident response plan: Are you able to sustain business operations without access to certain systems? For how long? Would you turn off your manufacturing operations if business systems such as billing were offline?

Check Your Security Team's Work: Use a 3rd party pen tester to test the security of your systems and your ability to defend against a sophisticated attack. Many ransomware criminals are aggressive and sophisticated and will find the equivalent of unlocked doors.

Segment your networks: There's been a recent shift in ransomware attacks – from stealing data to disrupting operations. It's critically important that your corporate business functions and manufacturing/production operations are separated and that you carefully filter and limit internet access to operational networks, identify links between these networks and develop workarounds or manual controls to ensure ICS networks can be isolated and continue operating if your corporate network is compromised.

Regularly test contingency plans such as manual controls so that safety critical functions can be maintained during a cyber incident.

Train employees: Email remains the most vulnerable attack vector for organizations. Users should be trained how to avoid and spot phishing emails. Multi Factor authentication can help prevent malicious access to sensitive services.