Last Wednesday we saw the world's largest social media giant exposed to an attack that risked the confidentiality of every user's smartphone. Given the reach of WhatsApp, it is alarming that so many people can be reached in a single breach.
The issue has been resolved, but what will the knock on affects of the attack be for WhatsApp and Facebook? Given how embedded both are in many people's daily lives and that the issue was resolved quickly without any loss of customer data, it is likely that things will continue as usual.
We have seen what can happen when large corporates do not protect their customers, from large fines like the $148m faced by Uber to a CEO sacking and complete corporate re-brand that Ashley Madison went through.
What is certain is cyber security has become an issue that is dealt with at the highest level and significant expenditure continues to pour into the cyber industry, creating opportunity for those who can offer solutions that can protect against the inevitable attacks that companies face.
Ultimately, any app could contain a security vulnerability that leaves a phone open to attackers. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, which typically issues software fixes quickly. Of course, even large companies can make mistakes and Facebook has had its share of data and privacy breaches over the years. There is no guarantee a rival chat app would not experience a similar security lapse. At least, following the disclosure of this flaw, WhatsApp is slightly more secure than it was a week ago.