Slack Technologies has announced that they have been hacked. While the total extent and damage that has been done by the hack is unknown, the breach leaves as many as 500,000 users’ personal information at risk. Slack operates a popular work chat feature that gives users the ability to communicate at work over a secure network, or what was thought to be a secure network – removing the necessity and complexity of email.
That though might have some users and companies reconsidering the move to Slack. Interestingly though, the news comes while the company is moving through a $160 million round of funding. The question that many are asking now begs whether the investors knew about the data breach before the investing took place.
Either way, 500,000 users is a lot. That is nothing to scoff at, and amid recent worries about information online – this is just the latest example of data security being weaker than it should be online. The company did point out on their website that, “Since the compromised system was first discovered, we have been working 24 hours a day to methodically examine, rebuild and test each component of our system to ensure it is safe.”
Those are big words, but at the end of the day they are only words – and now action is really what will matter. Slack will have to go through the same process that Target, Home Depot, and many others over the course of the last two years have gone through to alleviate concerns about users private information. Even as the hack is monitored and now, according to the company, coming to a resolution – there are bigger implications here.
What information was lost? The company did point out that one major component of the information that was compromised would have been conversations between those users. That being said though, if that information was placed in the hands of the wrong individual – what is being discussed here is intellectual property being put at risk. Private projects that companies are working on, that employees are collaborating over – are ultimately put in harms way – in addition to their personal information.
It’s a very bad situation for a company like Slack who is still working to build a reputation, even as they’re currently valued at $2.76 billion. It’s important for Slack to rebound from this, and regain the trust of their users – and more importantly the companies who are buying into the service, despite the recent round of funding. Otherwise, that funding could have been pointless, should this data breach prove more painful for individual users than the company has indicated to this point. Recently, Tinder and Twitch were also breached.