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TalkTalk cyberattack

PA Consulting Group's Mark Skilton, a digital strategy expert, talks to ITN London, Sky News, Channel 4 News and BBC News about the recent cyberattack on TalkTalk. Mark answers a multitude of questions relating to the security breach which saw four million customers’ data put at risk.

Talking to BBC News, Mark explains that we are currently living in a digital economy and that if the hacked data is in the hands of people it doesn’t belong to, they could be using personal identity information as a masquerade to commit other crimes in other peoples' names.

Mark goes on to answer questions from TalkTalk customers and warns that if attackers have stolen their identity, they may have taken credit card details as well. Mark points out that the extent of the data hack is still unknown: “The attackers could have your email address and log in details and from that they can log in and access your credit card details.”

When asked why the government can’t strengthen the UK firewall to protect everyone, Mark explains: “We live in a 24/7 economy and the number of threat points is increasing. There are hundreds of mobile connections, apps and Wi-Fi connections so the degree of exposure where you can be attacked is quite large. The question to ask the company you have trusted your data with is, have you followed due diligence and got protection and firewalls?”

“Cyber security is one of the top five board issues in most companies. The question customers should be asking is how much money the company is investing in security and how much they are diverting and spending elsewhere,” warns Mark.

Lastly, Mark is asked how likely it is that the hackers will be caught: “It is unlikely as it depends on whether they have done a good job. If they are professional then it may be difficult to follow them through,” says Mark.

In his interview with ITN, Mark offers advice to TalkTalk customers on how they can keep their data safe. He explains that customers should double check their passwords and change them now as criminals may be using them.

“Change your passwords so they are harder to figure out and access. If you have two levels of log in options then use your mobile phone as a second level of authentication,” says Mark.

Mark goes on to say that customers should keep an eye on the news so that they are aware of what their personal data is potentially being used for and what’s happening in response to the attack. He also explains that it is important for customers to contact their bank and change account details, for example.

On Channel 4 News Mark talks about the consequences of the cyberattack on TalkTalk and says: “There may be a potential loss of subscribers, a lack of confidence in investing and the share price will go down as we’ve seen already happen.”

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