Deloitte hacked, says 'very few' clients affected

LONDON/TORONTO (Reuters) – Global accounting firm Deloitte [DLTE.UL] said on Monday it was the victim of a cyber attack that affected the data of a small number of clients, providing few details on the breach.

Deloitte said in a statement that attackers accessed data from the company’s email platform, confirming some details in a report by the Guardian newspaper, which broke news of the hack on Monday.

The attack appeared to target the firm’s U.S. operations, was discovered in March and could have begun as early as October 2016, according to the Guardian. Deloitte’s statement did not confirm those details.

The breach at Deloitte, which says its customers include 80 percent of the Fortune 500, is the latest in a series of breaches involving organizations that handle sensitive financial data that have rattled lawmakers, regulators and consumers.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Wall Street’s top regulator, and Equifax Inc (EFX.N), one of the largest credit-monitoring bureaus, this month reported that confidential filings and sensitive personal data were compromised by hackers.

“These are targeted attacks on financial opportunity,” said Shane Shook, an independent consultant who helps financial firms investigate cyber attacks. “This trend is going to continue to grow.”

The firm said it contacted government authorities immediately after it became aware of the incident, and notified each of the “very few clients” that had been affected.

Offices of Deloitte are seen in London, Britain, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Deloitte is a “Big Four” firm that provides accounting, auditing and consulting services, including advice on mergers and acquisitions. It also runs a cyber security business that helps customers defend their networks and investigate breaches.

The Guardian said Deloitte had contacted six clients. The company did not name the clients, confirm the number of clients it had contacted or say what type of data was stolen.

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“No disruption has occurred to client businesses, to Deloitte’s ability to continue to serve clients, or to consumers,” the statement said.

Deloitte said it had implemented a “comprehensive security protocol,” after the incident was discovered, using internal and external experts to help respond.

Mark Rasch, a former federal cyber crimes prosecutor, said it is too soon to say how serious the attack was because so little is known about what happened.

Still, he said the attack was “a big deal” because Deloitte holds sensitive information about its customers across business units that provide accounting services, review data on potential acquisitions and perform cyber security services.

A U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman declined to comment, citing agency policy to neither confirm nor deny investigations.

Reporting by Paul Sandle and Jim Finkle; editing by Jane Merriman and Meredith Mazzilli

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Mike's Hard Lemonade: Measuring Digital That Drives Retail Sales

It’s refreshing when the head of marketing for a Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brand opens up and shares his insights on best practices around tracking and measuring the impact of digital marketing that drive in-store sales. For years, this has been a challenge as the ecosystem between retailers, data providers and manufacturers has been relatively immature.

This summer, I had the opportunity to speak with Sanjiv Gajiwala, VP of Marketing at Mike’s Hard Lemonade and I asked him about how he had effectively streamlined his company’s ability to directly measure the effectiveness of their digital marketing efforts. In addition to this article, you’re welcome to watch the full interview on YouTube.

Matching Facebook Ads to Credit Card Purchase Data

“We work with Oracle and their data provider, Datalogix which actually looks at our Facebook ads and the users that are exposed to those Facebook ads and connects that back to their credit card and purchase behavior,” says Gajiwala. “Datalogix has a way of matching users to their actual purchasing and what we’ve really been able to learn from that has been incredible.”

Gajiwala explains that Datalogix fits within Mike’s Hard Lemonade’s social listening ecosystem. “We’re looking at brand health and what people are saying, but it helps us complete the picture with their purchase behavior,” he says.

Key Learning From This Purchase Behavior Data Layer

“We’ve learned some really incredible things,” says Gajiwala, “People who are exposed to our [Facebook] ads that are Mike’s users are spending 5% more. And 84% of people exposed to Facebook ads on Mike’s definitely would or are very interested in purchase Mike’s after seeing the ad or our content we’re promoting. You start to see that both of these numbers start to synch up, which helps validate what we’re seeing in the soft data versus through the register data.”

Digging in a bit further, Gajiwala acknowledges that this work with Datalogix does not allow Mike’s Hard Lemonade to segment by individual retail store since the data provided is driven by credit card purchases. “Instead of looking at [individual] retailers, we are able to look at the segments of our consumers between heavy, medium and light users and understand what kind of content and what kind of behaviors we can expect from that different type of consumer.”

Breaking Down Geographical Relevance

As Mike’s Hard Lemonade is sold nationally, I asked Gajiwala about how they review the geographical relevance of the sales data driven by their digital marketing efforts. “Datalogix and Oracle are doing the mashination including geographic and penetration data,” he said, with the understanding that some of these insights are a combination of Facebook geographic data and credit card transactional data.

This gives Mike’s Hard Lemonade an additional layer of insights that help with better understanding purchase habits by consumer segmentation (i.e. heavy to light) overlaid with geographical penetration insights to help with better understanding geographical flavor profile preferences and where marketing budgets are best spent on a local geographical level.

Insights Leading to Incremental Investments in Social Strategy

“Through this work we uncovered that there were a whole group of people that, profile-wise, were like our Mike’s heavy users that we weren’t reaching,” Gajiwala said. “They were heavy [Flavored Malt Beverage] users, but they weren’t really engaging with Mike’s. That lead to an incremental investment in our social strategy.”

This allowed Mike’s Hard Lemonade to then track back to see if they are getting the same sort of lift from this new target of previously ignored heavy non-Mike’s users and determine if the incremental investment is performing in a similar fashion to their core marketing investments.

“Our prospecting and our farming strategies are both different on social but just as measurable,” Gajiwala said. That is to say, with a relatively small team, everyone at Mike’s Hard Lemonade is accountable to the data.

What Gets Measured, Gets Managed

The bottom line here is that with the addition of the Datalogix reporting, Mike’s Hard Lemonade is finding new opportunities that it had previously ignored while, at the same time, seeing the direct impact on retail sales from its digital marketing efforts. This is the growing trend at retail. With a growing number of options to track and measure marketing impact, your ability to interpret data gives you a competitive edge. The most effective content and social media ads will receive increased and even incremental budget to ensure brand health and continued sales growth at retail.

For more on this topic, see these two related articles: What It Takes to Exceed Shopper Expectations and Empower Retail Employees and Not All Retailers are Contracting. Here’s the Secret From One That’s expanding.

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