NEWS

Online Service Providers Must Strengthen Security to Counter Hackers

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

 

In the aftermath of the massive hacking of Sony's PlayStation Network that potentially exposed the personal details of more than 100 million users, Computerweekly.com has spoken to cybersecurity experts and finds them in agreement: Online service providers need to bulk up on security or risk a major loss of customers.

As information theft victims, Sony's customers will now have to change online passwords and closely monitor their bank accounts for fraudulent activities, an onerous outcome that will surely factor into the number of users who continue to patronize the Sony games service. Customers often refuse to deal again with companies that have lost their confidential data. The article cites a OnePoll survey of 5,000 United Kingdom consumers that found 66 percent of those surveyed would try to avoid future interactions with organizations found to have lost confidential data, and 17 percent would vow never to do business with the companies again.

The experts interviewed for the article recommended that online service providers reevaluate their security controls and consider creating a layered identity verification strategy--for example, a one-time-password approach, using tokens or smartcard devices, which provides an additional security layer to usernames and passwords to secure online transactions.

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