Agard threatens to sue over claims she misled Gonzales following TSTT data breach

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Agard threatens to sue over claims she misled Gonzales following TSTT data breach

TSTT’s former CEO Lisa Agard has denied claims that she was the one who misled the Minister of Public Utilities following the data breach at the company last October.

Agard is also threatening to sue her successor, Kent Western, for implying that she was guilty of the act.

Agard’s statement followed a Joint Select Committee (JSC) meeting on State Enterprises on Monday, which was dissecting TSTT’s handling of the cyber attack on October 9th.

“This CEO, the former CEO of TSTT, categorically denies that I provided any misleading or false information to the minister, or indeed to any stakeholder group throughout this entire process,” she said in a GML interview.

“And if TSTT’s CEO is saying that I provided misleading or false information to the honourable minister, that is absolutely wrong and a serious and egregious defamation for which I will have to consult my attorneys to advise me on the appropriate legal action to take against TSTT and the acting CEO, in particular, for defaming my character.”

It was on October 27 that the public was informed about the incident that led to six gigabytes of TSTT data being released on the dark web.

On November 1, Minister Marvin Gonzales responded to an opposition question concerning TSTT’s data breach by saying, “I can advise, Honourable Member, that based on the safety protocols that were triggered when the incursion was detected, that TSTT’s data and the data of its customers were not in any way compromised.”

He would later retract those statements in the media.

Gonzales, however, apologised over the matter to the House last Friday.

JSC member Wade Mark said Gonzales had attributed all his statements on November 1 to TSTT. He thus asked for an explanation of who on TSTT’s executive management or board of directors had misled or mispresented information on the breach.

“Honourable member, the office of the CEO is responsible for all brand reputation statements. So, the CEO’s office is the one that issues any statement or authorises any statements to the public or to the board, especially in cases of a sensitive nature,” Western said.

Mark probed further, asking Western for clarification on whether that communication read in the parliamentary record was provided by former CEO Lisa Agard, who was fired in the fallout over how the breach was handled.

“Yes, honourable member, I will state in my view that the office that would issue that instruction or that notification would be the office of the CEO,” Western repeated.

However, in response, Agard told GML that this was not accurate. She said her only communique with the Minister on the matter was via WhatsApp on November 1. She said he requested information in response to the urgent question from the Opposition MP. A statement was subsequently prepared by the communications department after liaising with the networks and IT department before it was sent to the then CEO.

“Based on my recollection of events, what was actually said by the Minister in the Parliament was not what was actually prepared for him. What he quoted from in the Parliament, on the first of November, was from the public statement that TSTT had made on the 30th of October,” she explained.

JSC chair Anthony Vieira subsequently said Agard would be invited to respond to some of the statements made. Agard welcomed any opportunity to appear before the JSC to clarify the timeline of communication.