Are you a Talk Talk customer? Worried about what the recent data breach means for you?
The recent hack of Talk Talk probably isn’t going to see them vanish overnight, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider your security and what it means for you as a customer.
The dust has yet to settle and the Police are still arresting the script kiddies who were involved so it will be a few weeks before the full extent of the damage is uncovered.
Should you consider using a smaller more specialised company? Chances are that these smaller companies don’t have the huge security budgets of conglomerates like BT, Virgin and TalkTalk. If TalkTalk can be hacked how on earth can the smaller companies protect themselves I hear you say?!
Well the truth is that a lot of the time, the smaller companies are actually able to focus on security in more detail. They are by nature smaller, so are much more able to spot abnormal traffic patterns much more quickly and to react to them more quickly.
Companies large and small are still required to follow the same security processes and apply the same policies to customer data. PCI compliance requires a strict set of security processes and procedures be adhered to, so if your business handles credit cards (which every business does) then you have to meet certain criteria in order to be able to take payments. In addition every business has to register with the Data Protection Registrar and has to follow set procedures for data handling there too.
There are certainly some benefits to being with smaller companies. The smaller company is less of a target for hackers. Why are they going to bother trying to hack a company (that has to follow all the safe guards of the large companies) when the result might only be the details of 20,000 customers when they can put the same effort into hacking a large company and get 1 million records (for example) and as I’ve already mentioned, the smaller companies are much more vigilant and able to spot sudden changes in traffic profiles or performance on their networks.
Every company has to have insurance too. So are you really at any higher risk going with a smaller company? No probably not, and if anything you may well find that your data is more secure with the smaller company – not to mention the better levels of customer service as the small guy works harder to keep your business as you’re a much bigger percentage of his pie than you are to TalkTalk or BT.
In the mean time, if you get a phone call from someone saying your data has been hacked and they just want to confirm they’re talking to the right person – they themselves are probably scammers and you should terminate the call. Don’t give in to these phishing scams!