Though all major companies are targeted by hackers, the breach is a deep embarrassment for Deloitte, which offers potential clients advice on how to manage the risks posed by sophisticated cybersecurity attacks.
One of the biggest accounting firm Deloitte found that it had been hacked in March and hackers got access to its systems. This would have given the attackers full access to the company, and such accounts typically have two-factor authentication enabled.
Deloitte 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.
Emails to and from Deloitte's 244,000 staff were stored in the Azure cloud service, which was provided by Microsoft.
"No disruption has occurred to client businesses, to Deloitte's ability to continue to serve clients, or to consumers", the statement said.
According to the newspaper, the attack breached the company email system and allowed the hackers "access to all areas".
While information is scant and Deloitte has yet to confirm specific details of what happened, experts said that the compromise of a global email server should be a wake-up call for corporations to, at a minimum, have two-step authentication in place for privileged accounts.
The attack went unnoticed for months, sources said, and has impacted some of the largest organizations in the world, including multinational banks and media companies, Big Pharma and government entities.
"Deloitte remains deeply committed to ensuring that its cyber security defences are best in class, investing heavily in protecting confidential information and to continually reviewing and enhancing cyber security". It has also revealed it was also the victim of an earlier breach in March.
It's understood the breach was focusses on the U.S., and Deloitte's internal investigators were still not certain of who the attacker was, or whether it was a business, a state-sponsored hacker, or an individual.
The financial regulatory agency said its network was hacked a year ago, possibly allowing intruders to make money by seeing crucial financial information before everyone else. "In Deloitte's case, this included confidential client information".
Other data, such as business diagrams, were also compromised, and Deloitte's internal review is still ongoing.
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