Sony expects to spend $15m to deal with the aftermath of the cyber attack on its entertainment division last year. The announcement was made during the release of the company's third-quarter financial results.
Sony Entertainment Pictures was hit by a major cyber attack in December 2014, in which sensitive corporate data was leaked online. The firm also postponed the launch of its film The Interview in response to threats by the hackers.
The incident forced Sony to delay the release of its financials in order to explore the impact of the hack more fully. These were released on Tuesday, and included a $15m charge.
“The current quarter is expected to include approximately $15m in investigation and remediation costs relating to the above-mentioned cyber attack,” the release said.
Sony added that the figure will not have a major impact on its full-year earnings: “Sony believes that the impact of the cyber attack on its consolidated results for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2015 will not be material.”
Despite this claim, the fact that the incident will set Sony back $15m is a clear example of how costly a cyber security incident can be to businesses and why adequate security processes and services are vital.
Chris McIntosh, chief executive of encryption firm ViaSat UK, said that, while spending money to deal with the impact of a cyber attack is an obvious response, training and staff awareness must also be included.
"Organisations such as Sony need to develop a clear strategy and approach to what they secure, and how they secure it. At an operational level, this means having the right technology and the right education," he said.
"The most expensive, hi-tech security solution is absolutely useless if employees don’t know how to use it, or why it’s so important in the first place. Yet even with all the education in the world, there is still the chance of human error."
Sony reported a strong financial third quarter, despite the damage caused by the hack.
Sales reached $21bn, a 6.1 percent increase on the same period last year, driven by improvements in the firm's mobile phone division and strong sales of the PlayStation 4 gaming console.
The mobile division posted sales of $3.5bn, a 29 percent year-on-year increase, which generated income of $76m.
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