Media - A cyber-attack on any business could be “a catastrophe waiting to happen"?
A bogus engineer fitted a device called a keyboard video mouse to a machine in a branch of Santander, which would have enabled the criminal gang to download data.
Then there was the story earlier in the year of the RBS /Natwest consumer banking system causing millions of people to suffer from the knock on effects of an alleged "glitch in the upgrade process" resulting in payments in and out of personal and business accounts.
Then there were the recent stories of 6.5m LinkedIn passwords being stolen by hackers.
Or the 77 million PlayStation network user names, email addresses, phone numbers and – reportedly – credit card details being maliciously breached from the Sony Corporation resulting in the company shutting down its online systems for 23 days, loosing $171m and experiencing a 55% drop in share price in the four months following the breach.
Of course retailers are particularly at risk due to the amount of consumer transactions they process. This was highlighted when TJX – parent company to TX Maxx – had to announce that a hacker had accessed 45.5m credit and debit cards details and the personal information of 451 shoppers who had returned goods. The cost incurred by the company amounted to $1bn.
Such stories should have sent shivers down the spine of senior management in any IT reliant business because, it could happen to them?
Equally chilling was how the recent Leveson inquiry exposed just the tip of an iceberg in terms of how employees and directors of media companies like Newscorp had decided that if the technology is capable of accessing data that it wants then the means of accessing it justify their ends. And sometimes it can go on for years before it is discovered by those that can be harmed by it.
The unintended consequences of the business world's total reliance upon computer technology to underpin almost every aspect of process and management. The fact that this is apparently not being foreseen by companies is a curiosity much talked about in some legal and insurance industry circles.
For more information ask for our Factsheet on Cyber Attacks.
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