Hacking always seems to be the doom and gloom of IT. Most IT professionals have their own horror stories to recite when prompted, yet we rarely hear of Celebrities having to battle the horrors of security breaches. Mostly this is due to rock-solid Non-Disclosure Agreements written by the best lawyer’s money can buy. Once you’ve heard one hack story in the SME world you’ve pretty much heard it all – Someone opens an email attachment or clicks a link and before you know it the site is down with a ransomware virus. However, in an article published recently on the Rolling Stone website, we can see how the law firm “Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks”, are handling 756GB of stolen data. Legal documents pertaining signed contractual agreements for the likes of Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera and Madonna are included in this data.

The hacker group who remain nameless, are demanding $21 million in exchange for the return of the data. The law firms’ initial steps were to hire cyber-extortion “specialists” to aid them in combating the threats. In response to this, the hacker group released 2.4GB of data including legal documentation for recent activities of Lady Gaga (who has declined to comment). Following this, the hacking group tweeted that they’ve found “…a ton of dirty laundry, Mr Trump, if you want to stay president, poke a sharp stick at the guys; otherwise, you may forget this ambition forever…”.

This rather boastful and aggressive cybertheft incident is a prime example of how important it is to ensure you prevent hacks at all costs. Trying to “lock the gate after the horse has bolted” is an absolute worst-case scenario when applied to cybersecurity. Even if the law firm cough up the $21 million, there are zero guarantees of the hackers returning the data. What is more likely is the data has already spread throughout the dark web duplicated an unfathomable number of times and forever stored in the infinite life cycle of data that is uploaded anywhere on the internet.

Ensure you are protecting your company from cyber threats. All too often I hear “it’ll never happen to me”, “I’m too small for that to happen to me”, “why would anyone target us”, and these statements are an inexcusable arrogance in today’s world of cyber crime. Don’t put yourselves in a reactive state, prevent the hacks, make sure your cybersecurity is absolute and rock steady.