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WH Smith investigates hacking attack after employee data stolen • Graham Cluley

British high street giant WH Smith recently revealed that it has suffered a “cybersecurity incident,” in which hackers gained unauthorised access to its systems, and stole data including information related to current and former employees. WH Smith’s investigation into the incident is ongoing and it has notified the relevant authorities, while reassuring customers that its databases and online presence are not affected.

Though not mentioned in WH Smith’s statement, ransomware is a likely culprit in this attack. It is becoming increasingly common for companies to be targeted by ransomware as cybercriminals look to exploit the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organisations must be vigilant and ensure that they have adequate cyber security measures in place. This includes regularly backing up data, implementing strong access control systems, and training employees on cyber security best practices.

In addition to the technical measures, companies should also be prepared for a breach. This means having a plan in place to quickly and effectively respond in case of a security incident. This may include notifying customers, employees, and the relevant authorities in a timely manner, as well as engaging with external cyber security professionals where necessary.

It is clear that companies, both big and small, are under threat from cyberattacks, and must take proactive steps to protect their systems and data. WH Smith’s incident is a reminder of the importance of strong cyber security measures, and the need for organisations to remain vigilant against the threat of ransomware and other cyber threats.

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