Credit: Security breach image via Shutterstock
Business owners who think they don't need to worry about data security might want to think again.
South Korean telecommunications company KT, formerly Korea Telecom, found out the hard way this week just how costly a data breach can be.
On the same day police announced the arrests of two men suspected of stealing the personal data of 8.7 million KT customers, shares of the company's stock fell 3 percent on the Korea Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
Following the news of the arrests, KT's stock opened sharply down in New York and barely rose all day. In Busan, home of the Korea Exchange, the stock opened down and dipped further before regaining some ground.
"The data leakage news is hurting investors' sentiment today," a Korean financial analyst told Bloomberg News.
The two men arrested began hacking into KT's customer database in February and sold the purloined personal information to unscrupulous telemarketers, an official with the National Police Agency's cybercrime team told the Yonhap news agency.
"It took nearly seven months to develop the hacking program and [the suspects] had very sophisticated hacking skills," the unnamed official said.
Police estimate the pair made about $879,000 from the scheme.
Business writer Chad Brooks contributed to this story.