Posted by Michael Naoum.
Due to today’s technology, we have advanced into an era where information, computing, and interaction can all be done with a click of a button. A plethora of tasks can now be completed within a matter of seconds. Though this thought may sound great at first, there can also be many negatives associated with it. Unfortunately, the world that we live in is far from a utopia. As a result, many individuals use their knowledge in efforts to create evil rather than for the good of others. In her article, Madison Marriage explains how Deloitte was recently hit with a cyber-attack, the hardships the Big-Four company encountered while attempting to resolve the issue, and the lessons learned from the situation in order to prevent catastrophes like this from happening in the future.
To begin, it is important to understand the background of the company that experienced this cyber-attack. Deloitte is an incorporated multinational professional services firm with operational headquarters located in New York City in the United States. Deloitte is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms and possesses the largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals. Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services with more than 263,900 professionals globally. As of 2016, Deloitte is classified as the sixth largest privately-owned organization in the United States. Based on this information, it can be concluded that Deloitte is a great target for hackers due to the value of information that the company carries within the firm. Unfortunately, earlier this year, they were contacted by governmental authorities in regards to a breach of information that was leaked, tarnishing the reputation of what is supposed to be a provider of excellent cyber security advice. Despite the irony of this, the attack was described by Deloitte as a “cyber incident” and was first reported by the Guardian newspaper, as a low blow due to the fact that security advice to large companies is one of Deloitte’s fastest-growing revenue streams.
In fact, in the month this took place, the accounting firm posted record global revenue of thirty-nine billion dollars saying that the cyberattack only affected a few clients. They also stated that the attack had “no disruption had occurred to client businesses, to Deloitte’s ability to continue to service clients, or to consumers”. Despite this, Deloitte had to act quickly and adapt to the situation. As a result, once the news was present, they mobilized a team of security and confidentiality experts inside and outside of Deloitte, contacting governmental authorities and immediately contacting all clients that were affected.
Overall, it is evident that companies as well as individuals who perform these tasks day in and day out are not safe from attacks. Unfortunately, Deloitte was a firm that had to learn this the hard way. Fortunately though, Deloitte had the manpower, knowledge, and funds to protect itself and was able to mend this issue before it spiraled out of control. In the future, I believe that Deloitte should have constant routine updates and checks-ins in order to prevent this type of data breach from occurring again. They should also have password changes every month or so in order to make it harder for hackers to get a hold of their private information. All in all, the firm had a statement that was released at the end of this fiasco to sum up the cyber-attack, “Deloitte remains deeply committed to ensuring that its cyber-security defenses are best in class, to investing heavily in protecting confidential information and continually reviewing and enhancing cyber security.”
Michael is an MBA student with a concentration in accounting at the Feliciano School of Business, Montclair State University, Class of 2017.
Marriage, Mary. “Subscribe to Read.” Financial Times, 25 Sept. 2017, www.ft.com/content/7c52fe88-