Trends Column

2012 Prediction: The Year of FDSACC

The 2011 Security 500 survey conducted last spring identified that only 19 percent of Security 500 CSOs manage cyber security at their organizations. By the November 2011 Security 500 conference, we had an overwhelming request among attendees for cyber security sessions.

Trending cyber security is no bold prediction because cybercrime has been around for a while. But I do predict that 2012 will be the year of FDSACC (Finally Doing Something About CyberCrime). Why? Because enterprise risk management assessments will require centralized ownership and planning to complete.

We might start with definitions, the simplest one is any crime involving a computer or network. Yet most organizations do not differentiate well between IT and cyber security. Also important is the difference between vulnerability and a threat. While there are endless, persistent threats to your enterprise, that is not the same as your vulnerabilities. An unsecured database is your vulnerability. A hacker stealing your data is the threat.

How big is cybercrime? About $388 billion, according to the recent Norton CyberCrime Study. That is almost as big as the $411 billion global drug trade. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which regularly studies this issue, cybercrime is now the second most common fraud reported, after asset misappropriation.

“Security” by its definition is to invest money so that something doesn’t happen, thus making it impossible to prove a negative. Yet the magnitude of cybercrime’s definitions, risks and potential costs are exponentially higher. The risk to brand alone is impossible to measure. Some organizations have avoided negative brand equity (for example, the University of Southern California and TJ Maxx), while others have taken a big hit (Sony and Heartland). While the 2011 Unisys Global Security Index survey found that 79 percent of respondents would stop doing business with an organization that compromised their personal data, it is not clear that is true. Students are neither dropping out of USC, nor are customers fleeing TJ Maxx stores. And the cost to Sony’s business (not reputation) that was initially estimated as high as $24 billion and later revised down to $6.096 billion, actually came to $171 million A lot of money, but not the level of doom predicted. Actually, the Japan earthquake cost Sony more – about $270 million.  

Some companies have begun to report cybercrimes, as ATT did during a recent attack on its customer accounts that netted $2 million for an alleged terrorist group called Jemaah Islamiyah. Yet, many companies do not report cybercrimes to avoid negative brand exposure. “One of the reasons we do not know the scale of this is that organizations are embarrassed to reveal the impact,” BT chairman Sir Michael Rake said in a speech at the recent EastWest Spell Institute Conference.

Indeed, 2011 has been named “a year of unprecedented Cyber Crime” by the 2011 Unisys Global Security Index. And a recent Booz Hamilton report notes that financial institutions are highly targeted (Sutton’s Law) and face a highly motivated adversary. While electronic banking, social media and mobile devices are obvious threats, increased C-suite targeting may not be. “Senior executives are no longer invisible online. Firms should assume that hackers already have a complete profile of their executive suite and the junior staff members who have access to them,” the report states. And the NSA has started assisting US banks with intelligence about foreign hackers due to the fear of financial sabotage.

All is not lost in the war against cybercrime, though. The Verizon Data Breach Study identified that most victims simply did not have their eye on the ball, even at the lowest level of cyber security:

•  83% of victims were targets of opportunity

•  92% of attacks were not highly difficult

•  76% of all data was compromised from services

•  86% of breaches were discovered by a third party

•  96% of breaches were avoidable through simple or intermediate controls

•  89% of victims subject to PCI-DSS had not achieved
compliance.

To have a fighting chance, the C-suite must identify how it will be resilient against cybercrime and who will lead the process. Ownership is lacking as different organizations perceive it as either an IT or a security problem, when in fact it is a business problem. And corporate security will be negatively impacted if it has no voice in strategy. With cyber security documented at such a weak level, it is no wonder cybercrime is the fastest growing industry in the world. Cyber security’s economic boom cannot be far behind.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Security Magazine. 

Recent Articles by Mark McCourt

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASIS 2013 Product Preview

ASIS International 59th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 24-27 in Chicago, Illinois, will include an exhibit hall packed with innovative security solutions. Here are some of the products that will be shown at ASIS this year.

Podcasts

Virtualization and Data Center Security: What You Need to Know for 2014

Data centers are increasingly becoming the center of the enterprise, and data center and cyber security is following the same path for security departments. According to Justin Flynn, a consultant at the Burwood Group, the virtualization of data centers allows enterprises to scale more easily and faster, with a smaller footprint.

However, hosting enterprise data in the cloud can make intrusion detection more difficult – how can enterprise security leaders team up with other departments to keep aware of cyber risks and traffic, and physical and data compliance during the virtual transition? How can CISOs and CSOs discuss cyber threats with the C-Suite to get the resources they need? And how can the proper infrastructure test and verify possible malicious attacks? 

More Podcasts

Security Magazine

Security magazine March 2015 issue cover

2015 March

In this March 2015 issue of Security check out our product preview of ISC West 2015. Also, learn how to make the best use of your security technology by working with your security integrator, get info on penetration testing, and discover how white glove security can enhance bottom line real estate value.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Body Cameras on Security Officers

Body cameras are being used increasingly by police in cities across the U.S. Will you arm your security officers with a body camera?
View Results Poll Archive

THE SECURITY STORE

Effective Security Management, 5th Edition.jpg
Effective Security Management, 5th Edition

 Effective Security Management, 5e, teaches practicing security professionals how to build their careers by mastering the fundamentals of good management. Charles Sennewald brings a time-tested blend of common sense, wisdom, and humor to this bestselling introduction to workplace dynamics. 

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13Google+

Vertical Sector Focus: Critical Infrastructures

criticalhomepagethumbFrom terrorism to vandalism, it’s preparedness, response, training and partnerships. Learn about some of the critical security issues facing this sector.

Visit the Critical Infrastructure page to read more.