Sony Entertainment CEO Shares Simple Cybersecurity Habits following Breach

Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton shared his thoughts on the comprehensive and infamous Sony breach from 2014 and offered some simple advice over cybersecurity practices for enterprise and businesses.

The world knows all about the Sony Pictures breach. Nearly 11 terabytes of data was eventually leaked online with details such as salaries, personal emails and film projects, spilled online. Wikileaks even hosts the entire trove of the leaked data.

Such was the magnitude of the breach that diplomatic tensions peaked between the United States and North Korea, with the Obama administration blaming North Korean state-sponsored hackers behind the breach.

Related article: Sony Hacked and Blackmailed

Recently, Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton spoke about the impact of the breach, its consequences and more at the 2015 Business Insider IGNITION conference.

Among other things, he focused on two main lessons learnt the hard way by Sony Pictures Entertainment, as reported by Business Insider. They are:

  • Having a strategy in place for a cyber-attack.

Lynton claimed that a majority of companies vulnerable to a cyber-attack routinely improve their cybersecurity infrastructure. However, there aren’t many that could face the brunt or the expertise of a cyberattack the likes of which can be initiated by a country.

Explaining the magnitude of being against such an adversary, he added:

So you better have a contact – as we did, from Nicole Seligman, who’s the president of Sony Corporation – in the FBI or in the Department of Justice, or Homeland Security, or somewhere where they actually know what they’re doing.

While this seems a strategy in place for powerful corporations, it says plenty about having a cybersecurity expert or firm on your side.

“There are plenty of places to call, but you need to know who to call. And quite candidly, [most CEOs] myself included, wouldn’t have known who to call,” he added.

  • Stop depending on email and use the phone instead.

The hacked emails from the Sony breach revealed employees sharing personal details and confidential information over unencrypted emails.

“We have become as a culture – and I think everybody would say this – over-reliant on email,” he noted.

Related article: Techniques of Malware That Struck Sony Pictures Revealed

Essentially, even if you’re dealing with colleagues from other parts of the world with a different time zone, Lynton says a phone call to coordinate communication would be better served rather than an email, especially sharing or communicating confidential information.