Following the news that TalkTalk has been fined £400,000 for the theft of customer data, IT security experts from Zscaler and Anomali commented below.

Chris Hodson, CISO EMEA at Zscaler:

christopher-hodson“The record breaking fine imposed on TalkTalk is merely a drop in the ocean. If the breach was to take place after GDPR had been enforced, the severity of the penalty would have been significantly more damaging. With the risk of personal information reaching the public domain, organisations need to step up and ensure that they are accountable for personal data.

“Despite TalkTalk’s technical and operational failings, they overestimated the extent of the breach, perhaps in an attempt to placate the regulators or lessen the punishment. The extent of the fine seems to suggest this has had little bearing on the consequences.

“As the sheer volume of this data explodes with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), businesses must ensure that they have a thorough understanding of where their data resides. The risk to data, if the necessary security controls aren’t in place, means the likelihood of a data breach is only going to increase.

“Cybercrime is a game of cat-and-mouse. As IT teams develop defenses, attackers are looking to adapt their tools, techniques and procedures in order to exploit them. With all the weird and wonderful ways that we use technology today, all of them have the potential to be exploited for financial gain.

“Businesses must take action now. If they don’t, the future will see them facing fines of up to 4 per cent of their global revenue – that will run into the millions, not hundreds of thousands.”

Jonathan Martin, Operations Director EMEA at Anomali:

Jonathan Martin“It may be a record fine but £400,00 is quite light considering the depth of the incident. The knock on impact to the business is really where the after effects of this incident have been felt. Since this breach we’ve seen many more take place, and organisations need to sit up and take note.  A failure to implement basic cyber security measures and patch known vulnerabilities allowed hackers to access TalkTalk’s network far too easily. It’s a situation which is an unacceptable lapse for any organisation. Organisations must take steps to simplify processes to enable them to identify and distil internal, as well as external, security data into actionable insights, in order to activate response plans. Prevention is far better than the business and reputational damage of any security incident.”