5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

For the week ending Nov. 1, CRN looks at IT companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions.


The Week Ending Nov. 1

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is Apple, whose Q4 financial results show that iPhone sales still have a ways to go to reach previous levels.

Also making the list is Chris Hylen, who stepped down as Imperva CEO this week; Capital One, which suffered through a massive system outage Friday that prevented customers from accessing their money; retailer Bed, Bath and Beyond, which gave few details about a data security breach; and Google for scrambling to warn users about a high-severity flaw in the Chrome browser.

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Not everyone in the IT industry was having a rough go of it this week. For a rundown of companies that made smart decisions, executed savvy strategic moves – or just had good luck – check out this week's Five Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Apple Q4 iPhone Sales Down More Than 9 Percent Year-Over-Year

In announcing Apple’s fiscal 2019 fourth quarter results this week, CEO Tim Cook emphasized the better-than-expected sales of the company’s iPhones – especially the new iPhone 11 that debuted in September.

But there was no getting around the fact that this has been a bad year for sales of iPhones, Apple’s flagship product.

In the fourth quarter ended Sept. 24 the iPhone business generated revenue of $33.36 billion, down 9.2 percent from $36.76 billion in the same quarter one year earlier.

Overall, iPhone sales were down 15 percent in the first three quarters of the year, so the 9 percent decline in the fourth quarter actually represents progress. And the fact the quarter included only a little more than one week of iPhone 11 sales bodes well going forward.

Imperva CEO Chris Hylen Steps Down In Wake Of Data Breach

Chris Hylen has resigned as CEO of cybersecurity vendor Imperva – reportedly after a data security breach exposed personal information for some web application firewall users.

Hylen resigned effective Oct. 21, the company said this week, in a decision that was described by the company as a mutual decision by Hylen and the board of private equity giant Thoma Bravo, which owns Imperva.

Hylen’s departure comes after the company acknowledged that unauthorized use of an administrative API key in one of its production AWS accounts had occurred in October 2018. That resulted in the exposure of a database snapshot containing email addresses as well as hashed and salted passwords for some Imperva customers.

The company said Hylen’s departure was a personal decision and was not connected to the security incident.

Capital One Hit With Widespread System Outage

Capital One was scrambling Friday to recover from a massive system outage that news reports said was preventing customers from accessing their accounts or withdrawing money – not a good thing on the first of the month, a Friday no less.

The outage was also blocking direct deposits, also not a good thing to happen on the first of the month.

“Capital One is experiencing a technical issue impacting customer money movement, including direct deposits, and the ability for some customers to access accounts,” the company tweeted at 9:10 a.m. ET Friday. “We are actively working to resolve the issue and restore all services. We greatly apologize for the inconvenience.”

Around 1 p.m. ET customers began reporting on DownDetector that their direct deposits had begun showing up in their accounts.

Bed, Bath And Beyond Discloses Data Breach, Offers Few Details

Speaking of system failures, housewares and home furnishings retailer Bed, Bath and Beyond disclosed this week that it was the victim of a cyberattack that resulted in hackers gaining access to some customers’ online accounts.

The attack, according to a Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week, involved a third party that acquired email and password information from a source outside of Bed, Bath and Beyond’s systems and used that information to gain access to less than 1 percent of online customer accounts. The company said that no customer payment card information was compromised in the incident.

The retailer said it sent notifications to affected customers on Oct. 29, has hired a security forensics firm to investigate the incident and has implemented remedial measures. It provided no further details.

The company said that due to “the limited nature of the security incident” and the company’s cyber incident insurance, it did not expect the breach to have a materially adverse effect on its operations or finances.

Google Scrambles To Fix Serious Flaw In Chrome Browser

Google issued a warning this week about a high-severity vulnerability in its Chrome browser that was being exploited by attackers to take control of users’ computers, according to a Threatpost story.

The bug exists in the browser’s audio component and affects desktop versions of the browser for Windows, Mac and Linux. The flaw was discovered by researchers at Kaspersky, Threatpost said.

Google was urging users to upgrade to the latest version of Chrome.