5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Sept. 29

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week are hundreds of employees at Cisco's San Jose headquarters who face layoffs in October.

Also making the list this week are Equifax CEO Richard Smith who retired – effective immediately – amid criticism for the July security breach that exposed personal data for 143 million consumers; Deloitte, which was hit by a security breach; airline booking software developer Amadeus, whose system went down this week, disrupting airline and airport operations; and Twitter and Facebook for facing mounting criticism for accepting Russian-paid advertisements that attempted to influence the 2016 election.

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.

Hundreds Of Cisco Headquarters Employees, Including Engineers And Developers, Face Layoffs

It was a rough week for employees at Cisco Systems' San Jose headquarters where the networking system company is preparing to lay off more than 300 employees next month. Personnel in software development, engineering and other technical areas are expected to account for the majority of the cuts.

Some management and administrative employees are also expected to lose their jobs. Cisco this week confirmed to CRN its plans to eliminate the 310 positions, saying the move was part of the company's regular assessment of its business operations.

In May Cisco disclosed plans to cut 1,100 jobs as part of an expanded restructuring plan. That followed a plan made public in August 2016 to eliminate 5,500 jobs.

Equifax CEO Departs In Wake Of Massive Security Breach

Equifax this week announced that CEO Richard Smith would retire – effective immediately – as the credit services giant continued to deal with the fallout from the massive security breach that occurred in July, but was only disclosed earlier this month.

Equifax previously made this "Rough Week" list for the closed-door that is believed to have exposed the records of 143 million consumers. This week CEO Smith makes the list for having to step down for his role in the security failure.

Smith's departure is seen as a trend to place more responsibility – and blame – on top executives and even boards of directors for major security lapses. Equifax has come under significant criticism both for failing to protect the data it holds on millions of consumers and for its slow response to help consumers after it disclosed the incident.

Deloitte Hit By Data Breach, Customer Information Reportedly Exposed

Sticking with the topic of security breaches, IT consulting company Deloitte disclosed Monday that a company global email server had been hacked, providing the hackers with access to emails to and from employees and access to customer information on some of the company's top federal and private sector clients.

The attackers may have also gained access to other information such as usernames, passwords, IP addresses and architectural designs.

Deloitte reportedly discovered the security breach in March and the hackers may have been in the company's systems for months, going as far back as October or November 2016. Deloitte, however, has said that only a few clients were impacted by the incident.

Airports Hit By Widespread Outage Of Amadeus Booking Software Outage

It was a bad week for Amadeus, developer of the Altea airline booking software, and the airlines and airports that use it after the system suffered a service outage Thursday that led to delayed and canceled flights around the world.

Amadeus issued a statement saying that a network issue caused disruption to some of its systems. Technical teams identified the cause of the problem and restored services, but not before flights were delayed and passengers inconvenienced, according to a New York Times story.

The Amadeus software is used by 189 airlines to manage customer reservations, issue boarding passes, and tag luggage, the story said.

Twitter, Facebook Come Under Fire For Russian-Paid Political Advertisements

Social media giants Twitter and Facebook found themselves in an uncomfortable spotlight this week as they disclose just how many advertisements Russian operatives placed through the two companies to influence the 2016 election and ongoing political issues.

This week Twitter said it had shut down 201 accounts that were tied to the same Russian operatives who posted thousands of political ads on Facebook, according to a Washington Post story.

Twitter executives briefed Senate Intelligence Committee staffers in a close-door meeting Thursday. But Sen. Mark Warner called the briefing "deeply disappointing" and "inadequate on almost every level," and questioned whether Twitter was doing enough to stop Russian operatives from spreading disinformation, the Post story said.

Earlier this week the Post reported that Russian operatives bought 3,000 Facebook ads, some suggesting that Black Lives Matter groups pose a political threat and others, targeted toward people who might fear Muslims, featuring Muslims expressing support for Hillary Clinton in the election.