Eventually, it will happen. For information hackers, mobile devices are the holy grail, the opus, their Mount Everest. Crack that code and you have access to just about every piece of information a human possesses. To date, telecom companies have been holding the line against more than incessant attacks from hackers from across the globe.
Recently, though, one nearly broke through. Verizon business customers are breathing a sigh of relief today after learning the company was able to stop a security breach before the hackers were able to access any customer information.
The company sent out a message to customers of its Verizon Enterprise Solutions, a system that offers IT services to large corporations. According to press reports about the message, Verizon discovered and fixed a “security vulnerability” in its client portal. While hacking sites have advertised a database with the contact information from 1.5 million business customers was reported for sale, Verizon flatly denies that any information was stolen. Therefore no list could exist.
Regardless, the company must now face a serious public relations challenge. While it would have been much worse if the breach actually occurred, even saying “hack” in connection to someone’s personal information gets their neck hair up.
While Verizon was right to let customers know about the situation and, more importantly, that the situation was handled, some companies take a “what they don’t know won’t hurt them” approach to dealing with these issues.
Hacking is a constant threat, and today’s marketplace yields all sorts of vulnerabilities that never existed before. Everyone is carrying around a key in their pocket, and hackers want in. Happens more than it gets reported … and there’s someone about it on the news just about every week.
That’s an ongoing challenge all tech companies face when dealing with internet or cloud-based systems. Consumers think they know how all this works, but they don’t really – and that ignorance creates fear, which can easily be turned to mistrust and outright anger if there’s any whiff of an issue. So, for the most part, many consumers are happy with not knowing. Ignorance is bliss as far as they’re concerned. As long as someone else is looking out for them, they won’t have to think about it.
But, scratch the surface, and that worry is there, aggravated every time something like this happens. Just the words “security vulnerability” get people metaphorically clutching their stuff tighter. The fact that most folks have no idea how to make their information more secure adds to the drama. Companies must exude a steady stream of confidence in their security measures, be proactive as Verizon was and deal with any potential vulnerabilities with extreme measures.