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Sage cloud computing systems breached

17/08/2016 by Usha Tyagi


Sage, one of the world leaders in cloud computing systems, has admitted that its cyber security was breached and 280 companies have been affected as a result. Releasing an official statement on the matter, the British firm said that an internal login had resulted in unauthorised access. This has led to the personal details of employees being leaked, though further information was withheld.

The company said: “We believe there has been some unauthorised access using an internal login to the data of a small number of our UK customers so we are working closely with the authorities to investigate the situation.” The firm added that information of the breach has been given to both the City of London Police and the Information Commissioner’s Office. Sage did not, however, provide any further information on the breach, such as how many people’s details may have been stolen, the services that were cracked, or just how the data was taken.

For those worried about cloud computing security, the latest incident is likely to raise concerns. Sage’s statement puts the monitoring quality of its own authentication mechanisms into question, as well as whether login credentials were compromised or it was an employee, current or former, who facilitated the breach. 

There are some 6 million small and medium-sized enterprises using Sage’s human resources and accounting software. The unauthorised access of just 280 accounts is, therefore, a small drop in the pond but still indicates the potential for breaches to occur. It’s also claimed that only UK-based customers have been affected.

Digital Guardian Global Security Advocate and Threat Researcher Thomas Fischer explained that Sage’s security has been proven to be inadequate. “It appears the Sage breach came from an insider,” he said. “Insider threats are almost always preventable if the right people management processes and tools are in place.” Fischer continued by saying: “This is the case even if the employee is a so-called reluctant insider, meaning that, for example, an external party has compromised their account. Sage also claims that it is currently unsure how the data was compromised. Again, with the proper investments in IT security, this should be easily controllable and identifiable within a very short period of time.”

The news follows reports that Oracle also suffered a serious breach. This breach appears to have stemmed from Russian hackers using malicious code within the company’s legacy retail systems solutions. 


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