Security breach damages Optus' credibility

The security breach at Cable & Wireless Optus yesterday may have ruined its credibility as an enterprise-level ISP.

Geoff Johnson, research director with Gartner Group, said CWO's customers should view the violation as a timely wake-up call.

Johnson recommended Optus' business customers speak with their account executive to find out what impact the breach would have on the security of their businesses.

"It's very important for CWO to address such an intrusion because they market themselves to the business to business sector, and to businesses online security is a critical issue," Johnson said.

"Due to the fact that they discovered the breach through normal processes it's a positive thing that they got on top of the problem so quickly.

"This is the perfect time for businesses to review their own and Optus' internal security policies and make sure there are solutions to these kind of problems. The intrusion should also provide an example to everyone involved about how to provide a solution to such a problem."

CWO's ISP units have a wide variety of customers, including the education based ARNET and the federal government's business filing unit, Johnson said.

Although the probability of such an intrusion is fairly low, Johnson admitted that such security breaches are somewhat inevitable.

CWO, who provides internet access through Optusnet, Microplex and DingoBlue, informed its 100,000 customers that the security of their login passwords may have been jeopardised after a hacker gained access to some accounts.

The hacker is believed to have accessed customer passwords and user-IDs.

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