Calling IT professionals to protect our pubs

Last week popular pub chain JD Wetherspoon announced that there had been a data breach of their database which could affect more than 650,000 customers.

Investigations are continuing into the incident but the personal details of the 656,723 people on their database may have been stolen, including customer names, dates of birth, email addresses and phone numbers.

This security breach comes after the high profile hacking horrors of internet service provider Talk Talk in October, when the personal details of around 150,000 customers were accessed. The suspected cause of the breach is an SQL injection attack and so far four people have been arrested in connection with the hack.

Len Carter, Technical Recruitment Consultant (Cyber Security Specialist|InfoSec) at Networkers said:“Once again, the importance of investing in the prevention of cyber threats to personal data has been highlighted. Regardless of your industry, if you collect personal data from your customers, you have a responsibility to ensure the relevant measures are in place to mitigate the risks of cyber security attacks.”

According to a survey conducted by American security company Tenable Network Security, the UK only deserves a grade C for its level of cyber security readiness. The substandard grade was awarded by information security practitioners in the UK, who were asked about their confidence in their organisations’ abilities to deal with key cyber security issues such as assessing risk, investing in appropriate tools and successfully responding to cyber threats.

One of the main causes of concern amongst UK IT professionals is the country’s ability to assess risks related to mobile devices, for which they awarded an F. Another aspect of our cyber security which was identified as falling below par was our ability to assess risks in cloud infrastructure and cloud services.

Reflecting on these unsatisfactory assessments, Len said: “The assessments made by IT professionals working in the industry casts the UK in a harsh but accurate light when it comes to how prepared we are for threats to our cyber security. The grading represents our vulnerability to these threats and highlights that many of the UK’s large corporations are ignoring the risk of attacks across different devices. Companies need to learn from the mistakes of Wetherspoon and Talk Talk and start hiring cyber experts now to safeguard their future.”

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