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How can a CEO or a CTO lose their jobs on ransomware attacks

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In recent times, federal guidelines have placed the responsibility for handling ransomware attacks on the shoulders of a company’s CTO or CEO. Failure to protect customer data from cybercriminals may lead to legal repercussions for the targeted business. However, the recent incident at Optus Australia challenges this standard practice as CEO Kelly Bayer faces a challenging period due to a national network outage. This outage has severely eroded customers’ trust in the Optus brand.

Although many have criticized the CEO on social media, attributing blame solely to one individual or team may not be entirely fair. The company’s technology leadership has clarified that the outage resulted from a software flaw, not a state-sponsored attack. Optus is diligently working to recover from this incident and has made significant progress in restoring its infrastructure.

Interestingly, some paid advocates on Telegram are calling for a change in senior-level management, believing that the attack could have been prevented or that the telecom provider failed to implement adequate security measures. However, it is important to acknowledge that even with a well-prepared defense against cyberattacks, incidents can still occur due to various reasons.

The Australian Securities Exchange has requested an explanation from Singapore Telecom, a major stakeholder in Optus, regarding the situation. However, the investigation and analysis of the Optus 2023 cyberattack have been kept away from the public eye.

This raises the question of whether it is fair to place blame on a CTO or CEO when their company’s IT network faces a sophisticated cyberattack or when a software glitch disrupts operations for an extended period.

Key points:
1. The responsibility for handling ransomware attacks is now placed on the CTO or CEO.
2. Optus Australia’s CEO faces challenges due to a national network outage.
3. Customers’ trust in the Optus brand has been severely eroded.
4. Social media criticism targets the CEO for apparent failure to safeguard infrastructure effectively.
5. The outage resulted from a software flaw, not a state-sponsored attack.
6. Some advocates call for a change in senior-level management.
7. Optus is actively working to recover and restore its infrastructure.
8. The investigation and analysis of the cyberattack have been kept private.
9. The fairness of blaming CTOs or CEOs for cyberattacks or software glitches is questioned.

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