IT major Wipro has listed cybersecurity breaches as a potential risk to its business, stating that such attacks could lead to financial obligations to its customers. The development comes weeks after ‘WannaCry’ ransomware hit systems across sectors like telecommunications and healthcare in over 100 countries, including India, Russia and the UK. One of the most widespread cyber attacks in history, WannaCry infected computers running on older versions of Microsoft operating systems like XP, locking access to files on the computer. Wipro, in its filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, noted that while there is an increase in the number of connected devices and transition to cloud, the impact of threats is also on the rise.
It added that attempts for unauthorised access, malwares, fraud, misuse/loss/tampering of personal and business data, deliberate or accidental act of its employees or other stakeholders are also on the rise. “While various security controls mechanisms are deployed at different technology layers and re-enforced periodically, it may be difficult always to be successful considering the complexity of the environments…,” it said.
In the past, the Bengaluru-based firm has acknowledged the growing cyber threat in its annual reports, but had not listed it as a risk factor. “…any potential cyber event impacting confidentiality, integrity … could lead to financial, disclosure of data, privacy, security, reputational, customer loss, legal, regulatory and contractual obligations to Wipro and may have direct impact (on) our customers and partners,” Wipro said in its filing.
In a recent study, Wipro has said at least 1.38 billion records of data were reported stolen — that is about 43 records every second — during the year 2016 through data breaches at enterprises globally. Such breaches not only impact the business operations but also often result in customer faith being severely dented for enterprises in the aftermath of these attacks.
This negative sentiment, after the breaches are notified, are often reflected in stock price dips and/or lower business online, ultimately hitting the company’s bottom line. Wipro’s larger rival Infosys also has a similar cautionary note in its annual filing. It says that while Infosys has put in place adequate infrastructure and business continuity plans against cyber security breaches, there could be an impact on active voice and data communications between its various development centres and clients’ sites due to such disruptions.