The Heartbleed Bug has been making the rounds on the news lately, after having staggering impacts on Internet and computer usage, both in the United States and worldwide.
The true impact of the bug may not be known for a long time to come. The bug is a basic flaw in OpenSSL, which is what gives us a secure line on the web when we are doing things such as sending an email, making a purchase or chatting on an instant messenger.
The impact goes beyond making a quick and easy fix in an app. It effects sites all across the web, including various social media sites, email clients including Gmail and Yahoo Mail, and even Dropbox, SoundCloud and TurboTax. This infographic from LWG Consulting provides a summary of what sites, and what types of personal information is impacted by the bug.
Many of these sites are not just popular for personal usage, but are used every day by small, medium and large businesses.
It is important to take the steps to protect your business data in light of this bug. Once the key websites that business owners use in their day-to-day interactions have sent notifications that they are safe, it is important to change passwords. It is important to note that changing passwords on impacted sites before they address the security problems may not help.
It is also important to realize that the impact of the bug goes beyond just normal computer usage. Mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets can be effected, making it even more of a vulnerability for businesses.
For businesses that store sensitive customer data online, it is important to make sure that your transactions are secure. Savvy customers will be inquiring about the level of vulnerability involved online. Businesses should be communicating with their customers to help put their concerns at ease.
Because the bug is prevalent in so many popular sites, many experts suggest you assume that you have been personally impacted. The good news is that many of the major service providers should already be in the process of updating their sites, so as time goes on, the impact of the bug should decrease.