Unfortunately this did not happen during Yahoo’s data breach, and if you think that was weird, a report from The New York Times seemingly explains why. The article is rather lengthy but to sum it up, it seems that this is largely due to the decisions made by Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer who according to the report, seemed to prioritize developing new products over making security improvements when she took over the role as CEO.
To be fair, Mayer had the monumental task of trying to turn the company around and obviously getting people excited about new products and a new look made sense, although unfortunately this seemingly was at the expense of security. The article reads, “The ‘Paranoids,’ the internal name for Yahoo’s security team, often clashed with other parts of the business over security costs. And their requests were often overridden because of concerns that the inconvenience of added protection would make people stop using the company’s products.”
However Yahoo claims this isn’t the case and according to a company spokeswoman Suzanne Philion, she claims that Yahoo has spent $10 million on encryption technology back in 2014, and that investment has increased by 60% from 2015 to 2016. “At Yahoo, we have a deep understanding of the threats facing our users and continuously strive to stay ahead of these threats to keep our users and our platforms secure.”
Now we can’t confirm whether or not it is true that security did take a backseat over the development of new products, but if it is, it is rather unsettling especially when in the past few years we’ve seen many huge companies experience data breaches. In the meantime if you are a Yahoo user, perhaps now is a good time to change your password if you haven’t done so already.