Is it safe to talk about cybercrime?

Few CIOs will discuss their secur­ity incidents in public — with good reason — but there are many compelling reasons for more openness.

You cannot ignore the risk of cyber-attack. No vulnerability will be left unturned by cybercriminals, bedroom hackers, pressure groups or anonymous citizens looking to disrupt an organisation’s business.

Attacks of all kinds are increasing in ­intensity and more firms are having to admit to being victims of them. This means that any company currently embarrassed by an attack or incident should take some solace from the fact that they are not alone.

Recent months have seen attacks on high-profile organisations including Amazon, MasterCard, Visa, Twitter and NASDAQ:­ all big names with significant server and security systems behind them.

Equally significant is the fact that the firms were apparently ready and willing to discuss what was happening, and what they were doing about it.

The most recent and perhaps most not­orious attacks came as part of the fallout from the WikiLeaks scandal when each side of the privacy debate began a war of attrition that sought to prevent the other from having their place on the internet.

Firms including Amazon and Visa ref­used to support the WikiLeaks cause by hosting its documents or accepting donations for it respectively, and became enemies of a loose collective of hacktivists that lurk under the name ‘Anonymous’. Anonymous, which had already showed its muscle in opposition to the Digital Economy Act, acted swiftly and effectively.

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