Through the GRC Lens: September

Posted by

Facebook’s largest ever data breach, Britain’s unending Brexit woes, and Europe’s $200 billion bank scandal — here’s a round up of last month’s top GRC news headlines.

Facebook in Trouble Yet Again

Facebook announced in September a major data breach affecting 50 million users. The breach was the biggest ever of its kind in the company’s 14-year history and reportedly allowed hackers to use people’s account as their own, permitting them to post and read private messages of users. It was also the first time that the social media giant disclosed a major data breach since the European Union’s (EU’s) strict new data protection law, GDPR, came into effect. The Guardian reported that Facebook could face up to a $1.6 billion fine if it is found guilty of violating GDPR.

Facebook said that it had logged out 90 million users from their accounts as a precautionary measure, invalidating the “access tokens” which was used by hackers to bypass the social network’s existing security measures. The hack also raised questions about the security of the company’s single sign-on feature, Facebook Login, which allowed users to access other apps and websites through their Facebook credentials.

While Facebook said that it had found no evidence that the hack affected third-party apps, it faces a daunting task of restoring public trust in the beleaguered company. The social media giant has recently faced questions around the world for its role in influencing elections and in fueling violence.

Britain’s Upcoming Risk Event Leaves Many Unprepared

United Kingdom’s biggest disruption since World War II seems poised to affect every industry within its boundaries. But its constant coverage from the nation’s media, and the lack of clarity from the government may actually have worked against the interests of some — The Guardian reported that nearly two-thirds of businesses have yet to do their risk assessments for a no-deal outcome due to “Brexit fatigue.”

September also came with another stark warning: Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, told Britain’s cabinet that the outcome of a no-deal Brexit could be as catastrophic to UK’s economy as the 2008 financial crisis.

Meanwhile, a new poll suggested that if given the choice again, a majority of Britain’s people would choose to remain in the EU. Calls for a fresh referendum have been growing ever since a no-deal Brexit outcome has seemed like a very real possibility. However, there seems to be no turning back the clock on the earlier consensus to exit the EU.

Europe Rocked by Massive Money Laundering Scandal

A string of governance lapses led to a fall from grace for a financial institution that, until recently, was one of Europe’s most prestigious banks. Danske Bank found itself in the middle of Europe’s biggest money laundering scandal that saw up to $200 billion in suspicious payments flow through its branch in Estonia.

As Denmark scrambled to contain the wider risks of the scandal, its financial regulator announced that it was investigating the bank for alleged governance failures. If found guilty, Danske Bank could face a whopping fine of $8 billion.

The scandal shocked Europe with many calling for better controls in the region.

The Verdict

It appears that the skeletons in the cupboard refuse to go away. The string of scandals caused by inadequate data security, unethical governance, and geopolitical risks continue to emerge, dominating the news, and impacting the financial health of organizations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *