Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin Resigns After Network Outage Due to Major Data Breach
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The CEO of Singtel’s Australian subsidiary Optus, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin has resigned following a network outage and major data breach.
The CEO of Singapore Telecommunications’ (Singtel) Australian subsidiary Optus, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin has resigned following a network outage leaving nearly half of the country’s population, including hospitals and government departments without internet for 12 hours.
Rosmarin has been working at the firm for nearly five years.
According to Singtel, Rosmarin has been replaced by the company’s chief financial officer – Michael Venter, who will work on an interim basis. Meanwhile, former Optus business MD Peter Kaliaropoulos will take up the new role of chief operating officer.
Optus presented a comprehensive overview of the events that caused the outage on November 8. The telecommunications company attributed the disruption to default settings in its Cisco provider edge (PE) routers, resulting in approximately 90 routers being shut down nationwide.
Rosmarin announced her resignation after a period of personal reflection following a parliamentary hearing on Friday. During the hearing, Optus executives revealed the absence of a contingency plan for an outage of such magnitude.
“Having now had time for some personal reflection, I have come to the decision that my resignation is in the best interest of Optus, moving forward,” said Rosmarin.
During Friday’s parliamentary hearing, Optus executives clarified that the telecommunications provider had not anticipated a network-wide outage and therefore lacked a contingency plan. Likewise, Singtel disclosed that the failure was attributed to a fault in Optus’ security systems, debunking the initial suspicion of a routine software upgrade.
Data Breaches Continue to Persist at Optus
Having assumed the CEO role in April 2020, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin guided Optus through two national scandals that marred the reputation of the telecommunications giant.
Last year in yet another cyberattack, there were reports indicating that nearly 9.8 billion customers’ data got breached, leading to a class action lawsuit and multiple investigations by regulators. Although the firm denied these massive numbers, but, Rosmarin has publicly apologized for a cyber incident that has resulted in an extensive breach of sensitive customer data.
To this, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the Australian Communications and Media Authority launched investigations into the massive data breach.
Further, the firm has set aside A$140 million (S$126 million) for “exceptional expenses” related to its response to its September data breach, which emerged as the carrier announced its half-year financial results.
Overall, in the aftermath of the parliamentary hearing, Optus executives admitted to the unforeseen network-wide outage, citing the absence of a backup plan. The incident underscores the need for robust contingency measures in the telecommunications sector.
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