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When It Comes to Security, Know Thyself

Data Security & Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

“If you don’t understand the risks, you don’t understand the costs,” security guru Bruce Schneier advised during a TED talk.

He was discussing security in the abstract — but it got me thinking about IT security in particular and the difficulty many executives face trying to determine if their organizations are safe from cyberattack.

The problem is that these conversations nearly always turn technical. Soon, a flurry of technology acronyms — confounding but apparently reassuring — begin flying around the room.

And, reports Schneier, it works. People, he says, will “respond to the feeling of security and not the reality.”

So what can a CEO do to understand the reality of security risk and grasp what the actual cost of security failure might do to the organization?  Continue reading

Think it can’t happen to you? Think again

Target with a cluster of bullet holes around the bulls eye.

Two kinds of security threats have emerged of late that need special attention, even if you’re running a small enterprise: Targeted zero-day attacks and advanced persistent threats.

Targeted zero-day attacks
Microsoft’s recent Internet Explorer security flaw (see my last blog post) is a fine example of a zero-day attack. The attackers got their edge from speed, since reactive countermeasures that depend on threat signatures — such as patching and tools like antivirus software and intrusion prevention — couldn’t be updated fast enough to halt the flaw.

Continue reading