Surprise! A Well-Handled Crisis

This morning I was talking to Andy Gilman, CEO of CommCore Consulting Group, about Anthony Weiner’s press conference on Tuesday. After giving me the lowdown on Weiner, Andy mentioned another interesting crisis going on—where the response has been nearly textbook: the RSA Security “SecurID” incident. Upon doing some investigating,  this tech security breach was pretty massive, but RSA appears to have handled it well.

As the story goes, back in March hackers broke into RSA’s network and stole algorithms for the company’s SecurID password tokens. These tokens provide an extra layer of password security for workers of more than 25,000 companies. A letter from the CEO posted on the RSA Web site acknowledged the breach, saying more information was to come. Then, on May 26, Lockheed Martin had to shut down it’s virtual private network after hackers got in using those RSA algorithms. Again, RSA acknowledged that the problem was serious, and initiated a replacement program. They will replace some 40 million SecurID tokens for its customers. EMC, RSA’s parent company, has taken a significant financial hit because of it, but transparency and honesty seem to be winning the day for RSA. “This is an example of a business crisis where a company acted responsibly,” says Gilman. Very refreshing, given other recent events.

–Scott Van Camp