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Liberty shares fall following cyber-attack

The company says it discovered the attack when an external party alerted the firm that it had seized its data and threatened to release it if it was not compensated.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Shares in Liberty have fallen nearly 5% on Monday off the back of news that it has become the victim of a cyber-attack.

Liberty says it discovered the attack on Thursday when an external party alerted the firm that it had seized data from the insurer and threatened to release it if it was not compensated for the hack.

The firm says it has assembled a team of security and IT experts to investigate the breach and has assured clients there has been no financial loss on investment.

Tech Central Editor Duncan McLoud says this is yet another wake-up call for companies.

“I think information security needs to be taken very seriously. At the board level, it needs to be driven by the CEOs of companies rather than left to the IT department to handle. It’s potentially huge reputational informational risk to organisations and I think it should be dealt with very clearly, it’s probably something the board I think needs to look at as well.”

He says companies need to think about this proactively.

“They need to make sure that their systems are properly firewalled and protected. But probably even more important is that they need to have contingency plans in place as to how they deal with a situation like this before it happens.”

SensePost’s Dominic White says there is no evidence at this stage to suggest any negligence on Liberty’s part.

“The difficulty with securing emails is that it’s something that’s got to be available to all of your users and it’s got to be available over the internet which makes it harder to secure critical internal cooperate systems for example.”

Liberty says it has gathered security and IT experts to investigate the data breach.

WATCH: Liberty Group responds to cyber attack

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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