As you are probably aware, telecoms company TalkTalk suffered a major cyber-attack in October last year. Almost 157,000 (156,959 to be precise) of their customers had their personal information unlawfully accessed and, according to an article published back in November by the Guardian, the hackers found the sort codes and account numbers of 10% of those victims. Fortunately these numbers make up only 4% of the total 4 million TalkTalk customers which, thankfully, was much less than originally feared when the news first hit the public.
Not only did the hacking cause the victims to be unable to use the 28,000 credit/debit card numbers stolen but TalkTalk couldn’t actually identify which customers were affected. TalkTalk also needed to remind their customers to watch out for any dodgy emails or phone calls that they suspected could be a scam in order to limit further potential damage.
TalkTalk didn’t have any official figures on the number of accounts affected by the hackers for several weeks which led to a lack of trust from their customers. It isn’t exactly surprising that they lost 181,000 phone/broadband customers and, whilst struggling to keep up with their competitors’ (BT and Sky) efforts, they then lost 25,000 TV customers within the same year.
They stated back in November that they did not believe they would experience a financial loss as a result of the attack. However, here we are eight months on and it has now been announced that TalkTalk are cutting their boardroom bonuses in half because they required tens of millions of pounds to put the company back on track. The remuneration committee of the company (the ones who decide on executive pay) have shortened bonuses from 62% of basic salary down to 40% according to the FTSE 250 Companies’ annual report.
Any idea how this could be prevented from happening to your company? You guessed it, tighter Cyber Security. Every month there are more and more reports of hackers and cyber-attacks (CryptoLocker is becoming a ‘Cyber-Plague’ at the moment) across the world and your data is becoming more valuable to your business (and cyber criminals!) as technology becomes more embedded into your organisation.
DSM is an IT Solutions Company offering solutions and services to protect your company’s data, and the ability to recover it quickly in a disaster scenario. For more information on our services please call us on 03333 221100 or visit www.dsm-gb.co.uk.