A security breach is a serious threat to current businesses. They tend to target business and institutions sites to retrieve client information that may be personal or financial. This trend has enormous impacts on the customer and company’s financial information. Many firms, which have weak websites’ security, have fallen victim to these hackers. The real motive of this practice is not clear. However, according to experts’ point of view, it is mostly for purposes of extorting cash from businesses in the form of ransoms. This paper explains the problem of the security breach of company websites. It shows the example of Ashley Madison as a victim of the security breach. It deals with the implications of the security breach and determines how to face the problem in future.
The recent attack on Ashley Madison is ranked as one of the largest security breaches in the last few years. Ashley Madison, a dating site for cheating couples, suffered from this security breach. The hackers were able to retrieve sensitive customer information. They got passwords of the customers, names, and addresses. They were able to extract information about the payments made to the company through credit cards.
The breach has severe impacts on the customers. The hackers published the names and contacts of the clients online that would have led to serious social consequences for the customers. The clients may not have used their real names, but it is still possible to retrieve them. Their credit cards transactions may reveal actual names. Their financial information is also exposed. The hackers continued to show that most of the clients were men. The exposure can lead to intense stress to their partners.
The customers of the company did not fear financial exposure more than other private information. They feared to be known more than financial exposure. The nature of the business required to be secretive. The company should have avoided keeping large volumes of data. The details dating back to 2008 were retrieved and exposed. In case of firms like Ashley Madison, the company should have deleted some of the data. It is expensive to purge the data, but the company should have performed it. This way the risk would have been reduced.
It was also advisable that the company considered protecting valuable customer’s data in a segmented area. The company should have protected secretive information separately. The CEO should have also performed a system update to meet their customers’ expectation. The site had promised to delete some clients’ information for a small fee. It was wrong; they should have promised that they were in a position to accomplish.
Passwords, which were an easy target, have tampered while well encrypted survived. The CEO should have ensured that the system could have only accepted stronger passwords. At the same time, after a mess, it is reasonable that the company should take responsibility (Taylor et al., 2014). The CEO should have contacted affected clients and discussed the matter with them.
The company should identify specific policies to safeguard itself from future cases of breach. They should determine possible threats and try to make sure that there are no loopholes. They should also make plans for disaster recovery. Periodical auditing of the system is essential to ensure the system is properly working. The company should also have introduced systems that allowed stronger passwords to avoid being easy targets (Taylor et al., 2014).
A security breach of companies is a threat that can taint a company’s image. Ashley Madison was the most recent company to suffer from this issue. The company had various loopholes that exposed by this breach. Holding too much data was a mistake. It would have been corrected by deleting some of the redundant data. Periodical audits would save the company from that breach of security.
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