Points of View

Welcoming our Robotic Security Underlings

Feb 18, 2016

TalkTalk Telecom Group plc, a major telecoms provider in the UK has become a poster-child for improved security operation. This past October of 2015, in a clear case of cyber security influencing brand trust, TalkTalk suffered a major data breach involving 157,000 customer records, which impacted consumer trust and resulted in the loss of 100,000 customers (per the company).


Their most recent breach, however, is perhaps more telling to the industry at large – it involved a small group of insider contractors who leveraged their position in a service provider’s delivery center to conduct unauthorized activities – an issue that was only uncovered as a result of an internal forensic audit, conducted by BAE Systems, triggered by the earlier (2015) breach.


The call center breach exposed a significant weakness common to many organizations: unpredictable or rogue insider behavior that tests – and breaks – the traditional technical approach to cyber security (Edward Snowden v NSA incident being perhaps the most notable case in recent years). Contract workers had direct access to data via onsite computers and took advantage of the situation.


How do you counter this type of insider behavior? One increasingly viable approach is through software robots.

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