Ashley Madison Hack Reveals More Than Just Names

hackers cybersecurity ashley madison
A company that relies on secrecy for its business model ought to be more careful about cyber risks

The recent hack on Ashley Madison, the website for cheaters, reveals more than just names.  Moral judgments aside, it shows us that some leaders just don't get cybersecurity.  Why didn’t Ashley Madison, a company based on privacy, secure its data better?  Cybersecurity is a leadership function.  Period.  Didn’t the folks at Ashley Madison know that a data breach would spell the end of the organization?  This is the very definition of strategic risk. It seems as though cybersecurity is often an afterthought, an area left to those who “understand computers” or are “computer geeks.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, cybersecurity is just like any other form of security, it’s about procedures, policies, protocols, guidance and leadership.  Additionally, relying solely on cyber measures to protect data is a recipe for disaster.  Firewalls, antivirus, intrusion detection systems and the like are just some of the tools needed.  Right now there are hundreds of hackers at work trying to defeat the latest software defenses.  And, if they can’t beat these defenses, they’ll attack from within via social scamming, phishing and other types of attacks.  Threats are coming from everywhere, including the insider threat.  

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