The threat that hackers present to business is there in the plight of Sony which, as the Financial Times reports, has been forced to shut its Playstation network after discovering it had been hacked and now says it doesn't know when the security improvements required to restart the network, which has more than 70 million users, will be in place.
Patrick Seybold, Sony's director of corporate communications and social media sent out an update telling users it's a "a time intensive process and we're working to get them back online quickly". Don't hold your breath.
The case tells us that companies need to have more sophisticated approaches to hackers. Earlier this month, Sony had reached a settlement when it sued US hacker George Hotz who had cracked the PlayStation hardware system, allowing users to play pirated games and home-made applications. The settlement had a condition that Hotz never attempt to crack Sony systems again.
Sure enough Sony received this warning on the Anonymous blog network. "You have abused the juidicial system in an attempt to censor information on how your products work. You have victimised your own customers merely for possessing and sharing information, and continue to target every person who seeks this information. In doing so, you have violated the privacy of thousands. This is the information they were willing to teach the world for free. The very same imformation you wish to suppress for sake of corporate greed and complete control of the users. Now you will experience the wrath of Anonymous."
Patrick Garratt on the gaming blog VG24/7 says Sony has to become smarter. "Sony's escalation of its war on hacking could potentially threaten not only Sony's ability to cut content deals, but, in a nightmare scenario, may compromise personal information of its millions of users,'' Garratt writes. "Sony must demonstrate it is capable of dealing with this situation right now. If these episodes become regular in any way, PSN's users, core or not, will lose faith in its brand and gravitate elsewhere. PSN must be robust enough to withstand external influences, whatever they are."
That's a warning for other companies.