The Chief Information Officer and the Data Center Manager stood up, while the former clarified, “We were simply cleaned out. As far as we can tell, nothing came through the edge and all the systems’ logs show that they are electronically clean. There are no anomalies on the servers, and the edge logs, as well as the firewalls logs, show no penetration. So I will tell you, if something got in, it left no fingerprints and no trail.”
O’Sullivan then asked, “Okay. What about our backups? How about restoring everything from yesterday or last week? We have to have something to at least restore our records to a last known positive configuration.”
The panicked looks exchanged between those present, both standing and sitting, clearly told the depth of the catastrophe.
With a resigned fatalistic posture, the Data Center Manager stood rigidly at attention and admitted, “Ladies and gentlemen, without going into all the gory details, we have no backups to restore that will give us our institution back. Everything is zero. There is nothing going forward and nothing to go back to. The electronic assassination of this bank is total.”
The statement echoed through everyone’s mind as it produced the same sick feeling in all of them.
O’Sullivan tersely asked, “Are you telling me that we have no system backups, no history, no off-site storage of tapes, and absolutely no telemetry in any other location or media type to restore from?”
The Data Center Manager took a few seconds to bring his anger under control before he replied, “That is correct. The off-site storage of our data backups was terminated due to budget constraints late last year, and we were instructed to simply use secure on-site storage. I remember the instruction quite vividly since it was not long after that the Vice President or VP bonuses were announced. The banks’ cost reduction schemes had generated unexpected profits.
“Oh, yes, and that’s when it was decided to terminate the backup administrator since we didn’t need that position based on everything being kept on premise and on-line for a quick restore. As it turns out the easy restore access also meant easy destruction of this bank’s backups.”
The irony of the bonus payout after eliminating the backup/restore personnel and eliminating the off-site storage of the backups was not lost on the VPs in the room who shifted very uncomfortably in their chairs.
John C let all the information sink in and then went to the computer that was projecting the banks’ account status and began to login with his credentials only to have his login sequence interrupted with the screen image;
Thank you for doing business with our banking corporation. Would you like to take a satisfaction survey for a chance to win a €10 gift card?
John C bristled with some indignity and hit the enter key that promptly displayed the banks’ restored inventory of debits and credits, with a smiley face after the screen display. With everyone’s attention now focused on the projected screen image, John C hit the enter key again and revealed the following screen image;
Then the words dissolved into an ironic smiley face that also vanished. The room was completely still. No chatter. John C had no glib remark for the attendees - he too was uncharacteristically speechless. He performed a quick inventory of the systems and the bank accounts, and everything appeared as if nothing had happened. John C rocked back into his chair and wondered, what would my ex-wife have said if they got into my knickers without me knowing? Then it occurred to John C that she probably couldn’t care less since she and the solicitor made off with his Porsche at the divorce proceedings.
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