Today's Wikileaks revelations are just the start

Verdant looks at the issues the Wikileaks scandal has thrown up

The Wikileaks story is surely going to be as painful as the MP’s expenses scandal with a drip feed of information as the journalists analyse and read material.

Risk and Reputation Presentation

This presentation is used to communicate the importance of Brand and Reputation Management.

If you would like help or further support please do get in touch directly.

Risk and Reputation Presentation

Defending a brand: What's in a name? A crisis will tell

While the web has reduced from days to minutes the time in which a corporate reputation can be attacked on a global scale, companies trying to protect their brands must also face the fact that the public remains cynical about the motives of organisations in both state and private sectors.

When the big match means big problems

Business Continuity Management BCM - PR and BCM - Support - Advice

The importance of PR

In the final run in of the premier league there was a crucial crunch game, two London clubs were playing and the result would decide final placings worth millions and vitally a place in European football next season. Definitely a big story for the sports pages, but that wasn't were it ended up. 

Instead, it hit the front page of most of the tabloids and was featured on virtually all broadcast media because 10 of the players of one team fell ill with  “food poisoning " whilst staying a luxury hotel. Skulduggery was claimed, the police called and the media camped outside of the hotel in question.

Reputational risk: Protecting your organisations most important asset

Reputational risk - BCM & Crisis Management

Your good name takes years to build, but how do you keep it? 

It could be a terrorist attack or natural disaster, a regulatory investigation or the exposure of a fraud, an IT security breach or embarrassing litigation. Companies are all too aware they are operating in risky times but tackling the underlying cause of a sticky situation may be only half the battle. 

Banks could face prosecution over Indian call centre leak

The security leak was discovered following an investigation by a newspaper reporter from The Sun, who was able to buy bank account, credit card, passport and driving licence details of UK bank customers for just £4.25 each.

The call centre worker in New Delhi also told the reporter he could supply confidential data from 200,000 accounts per month. The newspaper handed a dossier with all the details to the City of London police.

Detective Inspector Oliver Shaw of the economic crime unit at City of London Police said in a statement: "Unfortunately we have no jurisdiction to prosecute in the UK so we have passed it through Interpol to the Indian authorities."

Phytopharm stock dives after bomb target broker quits

Shares in drugs company Phytopharm fell sharply after animal rights activists scared off its broker.

Canaccord Capital resigned as broker to Phytopharm yesterday – less than a month after a firebomb attack targeted its European finance director.

A website linked to the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for planting the incendiary device which set fire to Michael Kendall’s car. The ALF says Phytopharm has links with animal testing group Huntington Life Sciences. HSL is a long-standing target for protesters.

Security fears at Indian Call Centre

Information  could have been used to clone credit cards

Police are investigating reports that an Indian call centre worker sold the bank account details of 1,000 UK customers to an undercover reporter.
The Sun claims one of its journalists bought the personal details from an IT worker in Delhi for £4.25 each.

They included account holders' secret passwords, addresses, phone numbers and passport details, it reports.

City of London Police has begun an investigation after being handed a dossier by the newspaper.

While the allegations made in the dossier are very serious, City of London Police would like to remind people that incidents of this kind are still relatively rare City of London Police

The centre worker reportedly told the Sun he could sell up to 200,000 account details each month.

Details handed to the reporter had been examined by a security expert who had indicated they were genuine, the paper said.

The information passed on could have been used to raid the accounts of victims or to clone credit cards.

'Reflect on decision'

More than one bank is thought to be involved in the fraud.

A police spokeswoman said officers were not yet aware of "the breadth of what we are going to be investigating".

"While the allegations made in the dossier are very serious, City of London Police would like to remind people that incidents of this kind are still relatively rare," she said.

The Amicus union said it had warned of the "data protection implications" of offshoring financial services.

"Companies that have offshore jobs need to reflect on their decision and the assumption that cost savings benefiting them and their shareholders outweigh consumer confidentiality and confidence," senior finance officer Dave Fleming said.

Continuity Forum Comment

In the past few months we have seen an increased media focus on the security of Electronic Banking Systems with both TV and Print news sources citing alarming lapses in the procedures followed.

While technology can go a long way to 'secure' information there remains for many the issue of the 'insider'.

Whilst a lot of time and money is spent combating external Security threats it appears as though there is still some way to go to protect the organisation and its stakeholders from the actions of someone on the 'inside'. Whatever the motivation, Greed or Revenge, the threat posed can be far greater both in financial terms and in damage to the Reputation of the organisation.

To help you consider the risks to your organisation we have listed below some of the common characteristics of the 'insider' below:

Insider Characteristics

The majority of the insiders were former employees.

• At the time of the incident, 59% of the insiders were former employees or contractors of the affected organizations and 41% were current employees or contractors.

• The former employees or contractors left their positions for a variety of reasons. These included the insiders being fired (48%), resigning (38%), and being laid off (7%). Most insiders were either previously or currently employed full-time in a technical position within the organization.

• Most of the insiders (77%) were full-time employees of the affected organizations, either before or during the incidents. Eight percent of the insiders worked part-time, and an additional 8% had been hired as contractors or consultants. Two (4%) of the insiders worked as temporary employees, and one (2%) was hired as a subcontractor.

• Eighty-six percent of the insiders were employed in technical positions, which included system administrators (38%), programmers (21%), engineers (14%), and IT specialists (14%). Of the insiders not holding technical positions, 10% were employed in a professional position, which included, among others, insiders employed as editors, managers, and auditors. An additional two insiders (4%) worked in service positions, both of whom worked as customer service representatives.

Insiders were demographically varied with regard to age, racial and ethnic background, gender, and marital status.

• The insiders ranged in age from 17 to 60 years (mean age = 32 years) and represented a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds.

• Ninety-six percent of the insiders were male.

• Forty-nine percent of the insiders were married at the time of the incident, while 45% were single, having never married, and 4% were divorced.

• Thirty percent of the insiders had been arrested previously, including arrests for violent offences (18%), alcohol or drug related offences (11%), and nonfinancial/
fraud related theft offences (11%).

Organization Characteristics

The incidents affected organizations in the following critical infrastructure sectors:

• banking and finance (8%)

• continuity of government (16%)

• defence industrial base (2%)

• food (4%)

• information and telecommunications (63%)

• postal and shipping (2%)

• public health (4%)

In all, 82% of the affected organizations were in private industry, while 16% were government entities. Sixty-three percent of the organizations engaged in domestic activity only, 2% engaged in international activity only, and 35% engaged in activity both domestically and internationally.

Below we have outlined some of the effects on the organisation:

Consequences for Targeted Organizations

Key Findings

• Insider activities caused organizations financial losses, negative impacts to their
business operations and damage to their reputations.

• Incidents affected the organizations’ data, systems/networks, and components.

• Various aspects of organizations were targeted for sabotage by the insider.

• In addition to harming the organizations, the insiders caused harm to specific

Supporting Data

Eighty-one percent of the organizations experienced a negative financial impact as a
result of the insiders’ activities. The losses ranged from a reported low of $500 to a
reported high of “tens of millions of dollars.” The chart below represents the percentage
of organizations experiencing financial losses within broad categories.
Percentage of Organizations Financial Loss

Direct Financial Loss   Percentage
$1 - $20,000   42
$20,001 - $50,000   9
$50,001 - $100,000   11
$100,001 - $200,000   11
$200,001 - $999,999   7
$1,000,001 - $5,000,000   9
Greater than $10,000,000   2

For the full 45 page Report or to comment on this piece please mail us HERE! or call Russell Price directly on +44 (0) 208 993 1599.


Citigroup loses data on 3.9 million customers

The banking firm has written to customers whose information was stored on computer tapes that were lost last month by courier UPS in transit to a credit office.

Kevin Kessinger, Citigroup's president of consumer finance in North America, said: "We deeply regret this incident, which occurred in spite of the enhanced security procedures we require of our couriers.

"There is little risk of the accounts being compromised because customers have already received their loans, and no additional credit may be obtained from CitiFinancial without prior approval of our customers, either by initiating a new application or by providing positive proof of identification. Beginning in July, this data will be sent electronically in encrypted form."

The tapes contained US customer data from CitiFinancial branch network operations and CitiFinancial Retail Services. The company said the tapes did not contain information from CitiFinancial Auto, CitiFinancial Mortgage or any other Citigroup business.

The company also believes the data has not been compromised and that none of the tapes contained details of CitiFinancial network customers in Canada or Puerto Rico.

"We are making every effort to ensure that our customers are aware of what we are doing and what we suggest they do to protect their identity. We are committed to ensuring that our customers have the support they need to monitor their credit and know how to respond should they identify any problems," added Kessinger.

Last week, the Japanese arm of investment firm UBS apologised for losing a hard disk that contained confidential data of 15,500 customers.

Continuity Forum Comment

There can’t be many people who haven’t had something ‘lost in transit’, but the experience of Citigroup shows that while mistakes can and will happen. The nature of today’s world means and the desire of media to report new stories means that within a few hours even a relatively minor problem will be seen by potentially tens of millions of people and you can be sure it will affect the way many view the organisation.

In most respects this simple process failure is a day to day occurrence, something lost or stolen, but carrying sensitive information, becomes a story reported widely and needing a measured response form the organisation affected. The clear statement and explanation from Citigroup shows to Customers that there is little on-going Risk to them and that the already strict procedures in place further reduces the Risk to clients.

Another detail that it is important to learn from is the issues was not created directly by Citigroup, rather it was a supplier of core services that was responsible for the loss despite the ‘added measures’ Citigroup had in place. This shows the importance of working with key partners in the Supply Chain to ensure on-going compliance withyour special procedures and to avoid supplier complacency creeping in. Failure to ensure that your policies and procedures are being adhered to can quickly undermine even the best plans and procedures and result in incidents like this or indeed far far worse problems.

Forum Statistic

  •  Fewer than 20% of Global 2000 companies work with their Key Supply Chain Partners to embed BCM and even fewer (7%) regularly include partners in Exercises and Rehearsals despite the knowledge of the risks.


    If you have any comments on this article or would like to find out more about the work of the Continuity Forum please contact Sara McKenna or Russell at the Continuity Forum directly on 020 8993 1599 or [email protected]


MFI hit by IT Failure to the tune of £46m

In a new trading update MFI has now revealed the full scale of the problems estimating that an increased level of refunds has reduced customer orders by £30m since the introduction of the new supply chain systems in March. MFI has also taken a hit with a one-off cost of £16m on additional deliveries and call centre and technical costs resulting from the systems issues. An additional incremental investment of £8m per year will also now be pumped into additional supply chain resources, including staff.

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