Stealing Online Information

Ouch, this one must have hurt with a business slogan like this one. Sage, the software giant whose website warns: “It’s never been more important to be vigilant when it comes to security,” sunk on the Financial Times Stock Exchange (UK) after being hacked and falling victim to a major data breach.

The accountancy software specialist, which is one of Britain’s biggest technology firms, has admitted that private information — including employee bank details and salary information for the staff of up to 300 companies — may have been stolen.

The company said it is “investigating unauthorized access to customer information using an internal login”, and is believed to have reported the breach to the City of London police.

Shares fell by as much as 4%, before levelling off at 726.5p, down 13.5p.

The company has more than six million small and medium-sized businesses using its software around the world, and last month said it was confident that revenues — which hit £747 million in the first half of the year — would rise by at least 6% this year as a whole.

But cyberthreats are now seen as a major corporate risk, particularly after TalkTalk’s experience last year. The telecoms firm lost more than 100,000 customers, saw profits halve and was left with a £60 million bill after almost 157,000 of its customers’ personal details were hacked.