Thursday 29 September 2016

Telecoms boss warns firms of 'cyber-security arms race'

Scott D'arcy

Published 27/10/2015 | 02:30

Chief Executive of Talk Talk Dido Harding
Chief Executive of Talk Talk Dido Harding

The chief executive of TalkTalk has warned of a "cyber security arms race" threatening all companies as she revealed that she called in defence experts over the hack of its website.

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Dido Harding said she contacted BAE Systems, which supplies cyber security to government agencies, following the attack, which saw swathes of customers' data stolen.

She also warned that any company could be vulnerable and said she still was unsure of how many customers had been affected.

Police are investigating Wednesday's attack, which TalkTalk said had affected its website rather than its "core systems".

Ms Harding said: "This is a sort of cyber-security arms race. Criminals are learning how to do things. One of the first calls I made was to BAE."

The company has claimed data stolen in the attack would not allow criminals to plunder customers' bank accounts, as complete credit card details were not stored in its system and account passwords were not accessed.

She also said: "Do I wish I had done more? Of course I do. But would that have made a difference? If I'm honest, I don't know.

"This is happening to a huge number of organisations all the time. The awful truth is that every company, every organisation... needs to spend more money and put more focus on cyber security - it's the crime of our era."

Irish Independent

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