LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 SERIES – PRIVACY & SECURITY: Sharing information and being honest with customers is the best way to deal with cyber attacks, Telefonica’s director of public policy and internet, Christoph Steck, (pictured) reflected.

The operator, which was one of the most high-profile companies hit by the WannaCry ransomware attack earlier in May, shared information with authorities, other companies and customers as quickly as possible, as experts worked on a solution to the worldwide strike.

Steck said most companies impacted reacted to the incident quite well, but the intense attention gained from the attack increased public and media interest in the issue of cyber security.

“I have never seen such a media echo on cyber security,” he said, adding: “We tried to be as transparent as possible from very early on. I think that was the right way to react, to share information and try to work with everyone to help.”

Inherent issues
A major problem, he said, was the internet had not been built with security features in mind, but as an information sharing platform. As a result, companies have to constantly work to improve their defences – but even then, anyone claiming 100 per cent security is incorrect.

“One can have certain processes in place and be prepared, but [there is] no such thing as absolute security,” Steck added.

Another returning issue was public perception, as attacks highlight the insecurity of the internet: “People do not trust the online world, that’s bad news for everyone.”