Christie’s Auction House Fights Back Against Cyberattack

Christie’s Auction House: Victim of a Cyberattack

In an unfortunate turn of events, Christie’s Auction House experienced a significant technological setback just days before a high-stakes auction. The company fell victim to a cyberattack that rendered its website inaccessible. The attack came at a particularly inconvenient time, with the auction house preparing to sell artworks potentially worth $840 million, including pieces from renowned artists like Warhol and Basquiat.

The Hackers’ Strike: A Closer Look

The cyberattack on Christie’s was first noticed on a Thursday evening. By the following morning, the company’s website was redirecting visitors to a temporary external page. In an official statement, the company acknowledged the problem, apologizing for the inconvenience and assuring users that they were working diligently to resolve the issue.

Edward Lewine, a spokesman for Christie’s, confirmed that a security issue had affected several systems of the company, including the website. He further stated that the company was taking all necessary steps to manage the situation, including engaging a team of additional technology experts.

Rising Cyber Threats in the Art World

It is worth noting that the art world has faced an increasing number of cyberattacks in recent years. For instance, a service provider that assisted museums in hosting their collections online was targeted by hackers earlier this year. Other prominent organizations such as the Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra have also faced cyberattacks, disrupting their ability to sell tickets online.

Chelsea Binns, a cybercrime expert teaching at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, notes the difficulty companies face in staying ahead of cybercrimes. The attacks keep evolving, making it challenging for organizations to secure their digital frontiers adequately. She advises companies to notify the public as soon as possible if hackers might have accessed sensitive information.

The Art Market: High Stakes and High Expectations

The art market is a discreet industry that often caters to world leaders and powerful businessmen. This level of clientele, combined with the financial stakes involved, necessitates better than best practices, as noted by art advisor Todd Levin. Levin expressed concern about the timing of the cyberattack, questioning how potential bidders could access the auction catalog during this crucial period.

In conclusion, the recent cyberattack on Christie’s underscores the growing digital threats facing the art world. As these disruptions become more frequent, the industry must invest in robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard its digital platforms and, ultimately, its invaluable art collections. Moving forward, the art world should brace itself for a digital future where technology innovations and cybersecurity will become integral parts of its operations.