Sony PlayStation: Security Breach
In April 2011, Sony’s PlayStation and Qriocity services were attacked by an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into the company network, compromising user account information. For five days, the corporation turned off both its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services while it conducted a full and complete investigation with the help of an external security firm. Although brief statements about the issue were posted on the PlayStation blog site, Sony did not publicly disclose the full extent of the security breach or the expected date when network services might return to normal, leaving many people speculating if personal or financial information had been illegally obtained. The timing was complicated by the imminent announcement of the launch of Sony’s first tablet computer. With its public statement, Sony intended to communicate key points of information about, explanations of and solutions to the network interruption. With over 70 million PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user accounts worldwide, customers, industry analysts, investors, consumer protection groups and government officials were all waiting for answers.
This case was written for a business communications course, but it could also be used in a business ethics or general management course.
- Use analytical skills, decision-making skills, creativity skills and communication skills to create an effective public communication intended to provide various stakeholders with key points of information regarding the service interruption.
- Take into consideration the serious implications associated with the network intrusion and the illegal acquisition of Sony account users’ personal or financial information.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
United States; Japan; Global, Large, 2011
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