As you will no doubt be aware, TalkTalk (a UK broadband provider) has announced that it suffered a cyber attack last week. Exact details of the attack are still filtering through; the amount of data stolen and the actor’s motivations are still up for debate.
No doubt we’ll hear more as the situation unfolds. In the mean time, it has been interesting to observe the public reaction to the TalkTalk attack and potential data breach.
Clearly, this cybercrime has been a cause of great anxiety.
This blogger happened to visit two high street bank branches over the last couple of days, both of which contained concerned TalkTalk customers seeking advice (loudly, no eavesdropping here) at the counter. Anecdotally, the situation seems to have been repeated across the country.
No one can feel anything but sympathy for the individuals whose data may have been exposed as a result of this incident, however much or little it eventually turns out to be, and whatever state it was in when it was taken.
But to draw a positive from the situation, people appear to be taking note, assessing their own risk, getting advice and taking action. It’s heartening to see this level of proactive activity and initiative in the face of unpleasant news.
Another interesting point is the number of people who appear to be ‘voting with their feet’, so to speak, and at least threatening to find a new broadband provider, as reflected by the discussion surrounding potential ‘exit fees’. It’s been noted before that attitudes to information security don’t always filter down to purchasing decisions, perhaps that trend is now changing (whether or not such action is helpful is an argument we’ll leave for another day).
This is all very much finger-in-the-air and not an exhaustive survey of public opinion. But it’s always interesting to keep an eye on the general pattern of thought regarding cyber security, and sometimes pleasantly surprising too!