Dow Jones

    Could Performance Management Have Prevented Dow Jones Breach?

    December 1, 2015

    By Wyndham Sellers

    The finance and publishing firm Dow Jones & Company was recently hit by a data security breach. The Dow has high cyber security measures, but the attack still wasn’t prevented. A holistic view of their online systems might have tipped them off to this nefarious activity.

    Dow Jones & Company, the U.S. publishing and financial information firm that produces the Wall Street Journal, has confirmed that it was the target of a recent cyber attack. The company has conceded that hackers may have gained access to the payment card details of up to 3,500 customers, although they emphasize that there is no direct evidence that information was stolen.

    Coordinated Data Breach

    In a letter to customers, CEO William Lewis has said that the incident was likely part of a broader campaign involving a number of other companies, according to the Wall Street Journal. It appears that the focus was to obtain contact information such as names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers of current and former subscribers in order to send fraudulent solicitations.

    Law enforcement officials informed the company of the breach in late July 2015, and an investigation was immediately launched. Officials quickly found that unauthorized access had been given between August 2012 and July 2015.

    Dow Jones has assured its customers that the company is working with law enforcement and that additional steps are being taken to further fortify security systems. Those individuals affected were contacted via post with more information.

    Information Used for Trading


    In a further development, Bloomberg reported a different attack on the publishing company  this time a group of Russian hackers attempting to infiltrate Dow Jones’ servers to steal information they could trade on before it became public. The FBI, Secret Service, and the SEC are reportedly leading an investigation into the incident. As of yet, it is not clear if the two attacks are related.

    Cyber security has been a persistent problem for Wall Street, according to Business Insider UK.
    In August this year, an international web of hackers and traders made $100 million after illegally accessing more than 150,000 press releases containing information that could be used for trading. This was quickly followed by the revelation that retail brokerage Scottrade had experienced a cyberattack in late 2013 and early 2014, impacting up to 4.6 million clients.

    Beyond Security

    This trend of targeting information from finance companies means that they must be especially vigilant about all matters relating to IT. After these breaches, companies are seeking to improve their security measures and protect their customers and systems.

    But hackers can anticipate cybersecurity measures  the reason they engage in these attacks is that they feel confident they can fool many of the systems that even the most advanced companies use to protect information. You need a tool that takes a holistic view of your entire IT system so that you can notice all kinds of irregular activity, not just the common tip-offs that hackers are expecting you to look for.

    Processing spikes, heavy I/O spikes, and unusual amounts of network activity could be just the indicator you need to catch cyber attacks before they affect your reputation. This kind of in-depth monitoring of your systems can only be done through good capacity and performance management. TeamQuest’s tools give you a view beyond security at the many other signs and signals of criminal activity, giving you more control and confidence in your IT systems.

    (Main image credit: Dow Jones Events/flickr; 2nd image credit: Tripp/flickr)

    Category: Security