Oh good Lord! Who would believe it? It’s almost beyond parody! Surely not! This cannot be true! The great and good in the land have been hacked!
After spending millions on Committee’s, new departments, investments in the national police service, and national security Members of Parliament, Members of the House of Peers, their Civil Servants and support staff have had their computer systems hacked. One Honourable Member has reportedly said that “It could be highly embarrassing”. He should smell the coffee – IT IS highly embarrassing.
They have warned us, created videos, run advertisements, sponsored and held conferences. They have witnessed the hacking of Google, the NHS, the banks, TalkTalk, Tescos and a myriad of other bodies corporate, national and international and they have tutted and wobbled their heads. They have spent time and energy identifying the mote in other organisations’ eyes but missed the beam in their own.
Does one laugh or cry?
“Do as we say, not as we do” springs to mind.
Yet, it is an ill wind that blows no good and the lesson from Westminster and the Houses of Parliament is that we are all vulnerable. We all have to get our house (in their case two Houses) in order to protect both ourselves, our employees and the organisation for whom we work.
Hanging your head in shame and pretending that it never happened is not an option. The measure of leadership will be what action is taken to identify the size of the problem; the action taken to rectify the problem; the action taken to ensure that the chances of it happening again are minimised.
I have reasonable grounds to believe that the vast majority of Honourable Members believed that someone else was looking after their security – they had abrogated the responsibility to someone else, somewhere else. I have personally witnessed Members refusing to wear their security passes as the attitude “they know who I am why should I?” prevails. All a bit like the Clinton’s / Democratic campaign’s simple password – “password”. A useless gesture that protected no-one.
Let the experience of the Palace of Westminster be a lesson to us all. No one is immune, exempt, isolated, remote, or too precious to be at zero risk from cyber-crime. Take the necessary steps and regularly review them. If you need help, simply ask as help is readily available, as are the means of protection and crisis communication if and when the worst happens.