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Security Hack on Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Raises Questions of Vulnerability

  • 25 February 2020
  • Author: Maria Rutkin
  • Number of views: 392
Security Hack on Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Raises Questions of Vulnerability

You've Been Hacked

The recent news of the 2016 security hacks on the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office raises questions not only about what consumer data was breached, but also how vulnerable are other organizations to this type of “hacks”. It only takes one mistake for your entire infrastructure to be hacked. The question is: What steps are you taking to ensure employees protect themselves and your company against these hacks and attacks?


As companies move everything to the cloud, there is a higher emphasis in ensuring everything is safe and secure from external attacks or threats. But with the cloud, users can work anywhere and get access to data quickly. The cloud is often shared between a lot of different users on various platforms and devices. Now employees have access to all this important business information and sensitive data, making them the most vulnerable targets to these types of security hacks.

When you put things in the cloud, there are going to be security issues. Palm Beach County had a hack of their election system in 2016 – which just became public last week after the Supervisor of Elections Office reported it: Read the Sun-Sentinel article here.

As more business is conducted in the cloud, the best way for companies to protect their people and their information from these types of threats is through education and training. Studies have shown most of the hacks are attempts to exploit your employees through very luring phishing attempts.

Almost 90% of the data breaches are caused by human errors – reinforcing the need for investing in continuous employee education and security awareness training. Experts advise closing these cybersecurity knowledge gaps gives employees more confidence and ownership over their ability to protect themselves and your most valuable data.

According to the 2019 report from Proofpoint, an analysis of workers’ cyber knowledge gaps found that end users struggled most with identifying phishing threats and protecting data. The next highest knowledge gap was found in compliance-related cybersecurity directives and protecting mobile devices and information.

The report also pointed out that end users answered 22 percent of the overall questions incorrectly. See the percentage of wrong answers on the security awareness training assessments below.

Take the FREE CYBERSAFE READINESS TEST to identify your knowledge gaps and see where you should get started with education and training.


People may think they have security in place – but hackers never sleep. The risk is still real. Just when you think you have all your protocols in place, that is when hackers find better and easier ways to get into your work environment.

Cyber criminals continue to focus on people, structuring hacks to take advantage of users who are unaware and unprepared. Regardless of your organization's size or the industry you're in, you must take a people-centric approach to training and development. Not only do you want your IT department to do penetration testing, security and firewalls testing, and role-based trainings and certifications – but every user in your organization needs to be apprised of what to look for and your security protocols.

For example, when you get a robocall claiming to be the Social Security office, everybody knows that this is a scam now. But are you aware and being suspicious of that very realistic email looking like it is coming from your bank or colleague is a scam as well?

Security awareness training is a formal process for educating employees about computer security. A good security awareness program should educate employees about corporate policies and procedures for working with information technology.


Regardless of your organization’s size, we’re sure you are implementing Azure by now. While training your IT administrators, don't forget to take these Azure courses to get them trained up! Click here or click the image below to purchase the special course bundle.


New Horizons South Florida offers the resources you need to keep your team up to date! Visit our website to see the different trainings we offer, and take our CyberSAFE Readiness Test to see where you should get started.

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