This deliverable highlights a case scenario involving a cybersecurity issue between two companies: Millennium Information Technology Solutions (MITS) and Johnson & Daniel Confectionaries (JDC). MITS is a mid-sized information technology company located in Atlanta in the state of Georgia. The company has been in operation since 2015. Over the six years its operation, MITS’ employee population has grown from two (its founders, Mike Brown and Richard Feldman) to thirty presently. Its net annual income has also grown tremendously, from $ 5,000 in 2010 to $ 259,000 last year 2020. On the other hand, JDC is big confectionary company headquartered in Charlotte in North Carolina. The company has been operating since 2006. Within this duration, the company has realized significant growth, with its presence in nearly all the states in the US. The company has over 60,000 employees in its payroll. Its income has also grown tremendously over the years, from just $ 3,000 in 2006 to $ 980,000 in 2020.
Since its formation, JDC has been managing its employee payroll through an outsourced human resource service provider. There was wrong with this service; however, it was the same traditional service. Consequently, JDC still had to prepare input for the payroll service provider from its employees’ timesheets. This task cost JDC about a day every week and caused a lot of stress since the payroll is time sensitive. JDC’s human resource officers had to get this done while in the midst of all the other work going on or else do them in the evenings after word, thereby ending up pay for overtime. In addition, a lot of time was lost answering payroll related questions from the employees. To avoid these inconveniences, JDC decided to install a software-based payroll management system, which it advertised for tender on January 2021. On advertising this tender, many information technology service providers applied for it, but MITS emerged the winner. MITS promised that its software will solve all the issues with JDC’s payroll management, and that it is highly secure, a characteristic it boasted that it is tested and proven! Further, it provided JDC with 10 year guarantee of fault-free functioning.
For the first one month, the software seemed to fulfill these promises; however, by midway second month, JDC noted that the software could not solve much of the promises told by MIST, and effort to inquire the letdown were at times met with harshness from MIST’s management! Making the matter worse, towards the end of the second month, a software system vulnerability occurred, causing JDC to lose personal details of its over 60,000 employees. This included details related to their names, national identity card numbers, tax, salary details, overtime payment details, holidays, and retirement benefits, among others. Due to the bad reputation that had started showing up between JDC and MIST, JDC’s management opted to return to its old payroll management strategy first, as it sought to fix the MITS’s software fault with privately hired information technologists. Again, this management did not want to make the matter public for the fear of damaging its reputation. The effort to restore the faulty software system went on for about two months, after JDC noted that it could not fix the problem. Consequently, it sued MITS in the court on June 2nd 2021, wanting it to return back the $ 100,000 it paid to acquire the software, and in addition pay another $ 100,000 for the damages caused. MITS said it cannot pay, arguing its contract with JDC ended once it accepted and started using the software, and that JDC breached the guarantee terms and conditions by involving a third party to rectify the problem with the software. The case was scheduled for hearing on July 1st 2021.
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