What the IRS and Ashley Madison Should Have Learned About Cybersecurity

What the  IRS and Ashley Madison Should Have  Learned About Cybersecurity

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Increasing Natural Disasters

Several Bay Area residents were woken up Monday morning by the ground shaking below them. Around 6:50AM PST, a 4.0 magnitude earthquake struck Piedmont, CA, prompting a “shaky” start to the week for many. We were able to uncover some of the first mentions of the #SFEarthquake from that morning:

And nothing quite beats realtime:

No damage or injuries were immediately reported from the earthquake, but local puppies definitely knew something was off.

Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and Puppies… A crazy week for natural disasters! 

Subway Breaks Up with Jared

It’s been a rough week for Jared, the (former) Subway guy. The popular sandwich chain suspended all ties to their spokesman after investigators found child pornography in his Indiana home earlier this year. As is the case in the new world we live in, Subway’s “official” announcement came via Twitter:

Looking at Zignal’s World Map, we see that while most mentions of the scandal were primarily in the United States, the story has certainly garnered international attention (noted in light blue): Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 7.59.00 PM

Interestingly, as seen in several mentions around the scandal, Subway’s quick action to address the issue with a formal statement, along with the end of their relationship with Jared, seemed to be an effective way to handle the situation:Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 3.22.22 PM

In terms of sales, the scandal may not be all bad news for Subway. A report by CNN Money stated, “Despite the horrific nature of the charges, most experts expect that Subway’s sales won’t be hurt by the Fogle scandal. He hasn’t been in a television ad for the chain since 2013 as the chain has shifted to using athletes, such as baseball star Mike Trout, or actors in its ads.”

Staying ahead of the story – being there as it breaks – can be an effective way to manage a crisis.

Why Cybersecurity Matters

Account details for over 32 million (yes, million) Ashley Madison users are now accessible, after the site for “married individuals seeking partners for affairs” was hacked last week.

In response to the numerous names, street addresses, amounts paid and email addresses made public by the data hack, the company tweeted out this press release, stating:

“It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities … The criminal, or criminals, involved in this act have appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror, and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society.”

In other cybersecurity news, it appears the May 2015 IRS security breach actually affected nearly three times as many people than previously thought–over 330,000 households will soon be notified that their tax returns were vulnerable to hacker access.

The IRS and Ashley Madison probably should have read When, Not If, Crisis Happens. 

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