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Expensive Email Fiascos and Cyber Attacks – November 2016 Articles of Note

Posted Tuesday November 22nd, 2016, 6:25 pm by

World news continues to be dominated by Brexit, Trumps victory in the US election and Russia’s continued assault on Syria. It is therefore ‘not a bad to bury bad news’ as a British Civil Servant said on 9/11. However, some of the more interesting news on the email overload and cyber security front has not escaped our attention. There have been two significant fiascos one of which does indeed have links to the US election; five major cyber attacks and one ‘Reply All’ fiasco.

1.     Did Clinton’s email misuse cost her the US election?  Just as Hillary Clinton started to pull ahead, the FBI re-opened the case of her use of a private email server for US Government business.  Well we all know the result.  From our perspective there can be little doubt that this on-going Clinton email scandal was a contributory factor to her losing the battle to become the first American female president.  Click here for a previous blog on this topic and how you can protect yourself from falling prey to such email-gate fiasco.Typewritter

2.     NHS email systems grinds to a halt.  During a test run of a new system someone hit Reply All.  840,000 emails were then sent out and surprise, surprise the system collapsed.  Avoiding such Reply All disasters is the focus of this months Mesmo Consultancy Blog.

3.     Five serious leaks of personal information.  The Tesco Bank cyber attack with 9,000 accounts targeted and £2.5M stolen from them. Two dating agencies: Adult Friend Finder cyber attack and Penthouse cyber attack were hacked with 420 million names and personal data stolen.  In these two cases like the Ashley Madison, it was probably more about looking for groups of users and famous names.  The Three cyber attack put six million customer’s at risk. Whatever the motives, all five serve to underline the worrying increase in cyber attacks and need for protecting your on-line credentials.  Click here for more on passwords protection.

4.     Do organisations ever truly recover from a cyber attack.  Some suggest that organisation’s reputations are permanently damaged after such attacks.  How do you feel about Tesco Bank, Yahoo (a recent victim) Three (today’s victim)?  Perhaps it’s time to ask your CIO/IT Director how robust is their cyber policy and technology.  Click here for more on protecting your and your organisation’s reputation.

5.     Yes, we now spend more time than ever on email.  Abode found we spend on average one working day a week on email (7.4 hours).  This is a 7.6% year on year increase.  Contrary to popular belief Millennials spend the most time dealing with email – albeit mobile devices are now the dominant and preferred device.  Of that time half is on work-related emails and much of our use is driven by the instant gratitude society many inhabit both at work and socially.  The study is US-based but there is no reason to suggest the UK is any different.

We will return to this topic next month with more startling statistics on how much email misuse is destroying the fabric of our lives. We will also review technologies to help reduce email overload.

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