Reports are slowly starting to appear regarding a breach at Wetherspoons, one of the UK’s largest pub chains. The site’s customers database – which includes names, dates of birth, email, addresses and phone numbers of 656,000 Britons – was breached in June. But Wetherspoons officials were only told about the hack by security experts earlier this week. The cyber criminals also stole credit card and debit card data from pub-goers who bought vouchers from the JD Wetherspoon site.
Richard Cassidy, technical director EMEA at Alert Logic, commented “The breach at JD Wetherspoons highlights the challenge all organisations face in today’s cyber threat landscape and reiterates the fact that a fundamental change in our approach to data security is required across the board. Attackers leave digital fingerprints in their network activity or system logs that can be spotted if you know what to look for, and have qualified people looking for it. Through monitoring systems 24×7 and being able to distinguish normal from abnormal, organisation can identify and act against sophisticated attackers.
In reality it is becoming a great deal easier for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities on key data platforms, given the wealth of resources and information sharing on the cyber criminal underworld.
In many respects organisations need to shift their focus to the view of “when” and not “if” a data breach or attack will occur. CISOs and CTOs need to learn from the wealth of information available on past high-profile breaches, and align their Cyber Security Strategy accordingly.
We can no longer rely on our point security tools to remain effective in isolation against the proliferation of threats and exploits we are seeing today. Security strategy needs to be intelligence driven, combining big-data analytics poised to detect indicators of compromise combining the wealth of data across all security toolsets, identifying both “sledge hammer” and “needle-in-haystack” breach styles. Equally importantly how well organisations protect their “data at rest” will go a long way in helping give customers the assurance that the best was done to protect their data and limiting the collateral damage in the aftermath of such a breach. As organisations we can only do so much, but unfortunately not many are doing enough. Boardrooms need to put cyber security risk and strategy back at the forefront of their agendas.”
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