Breach detection

By now you’re so familiar with network security problems that you’ve got a complete arsenal of hardware and software, encryption and firewalls, IDS and IPS, to prevent any hacker, virus, worm, malware or spyware from penetrating your defenses. From the outside you are impregnable.

Inside is a different story.

Inside, your email server may become a superhighway for sending classified data to the outside world. A BlackBerry can be as dangerous as an internal spy. An HTTP link can be a pipeline to the competition.

Your vaunted security may look like a fortress from the outside, but from the inside information is leaking through the cracks. And unless you can detect it, you can’t stop it.

According to Deloitte’s 2006 Global Security Survey, 49 percent of companies reported they experienced an internal security breach in the past year. Thirty-one percent of breaches came from virus and worms, 28 percent through insider fraud and 18 percent from data leakage. In addition, 96 percent of companies surveyed were concerned that employees might do something untoward with their information systems.

The Ponemon Institute’s National Survey on the Detection and Prevention of Data Breaches stated that only 37 percent of companies surveyed believe their company effectively prevents breaches. More specifically:

For large data breaches (10,000+ customers)

43% of companies detect breaches 80% of the time

76% of companies detect breaches 60% of time

For small data breaches (100 customers or less)

17% of companies detect breaches 80% of the time

38% of companies detect breaches 60% of the time

Carelessness is expensive

Finding data breaches, discovering what happened and who was responsible, is expensive. According to a Ponemon Institute report, “Lost Customer Information: What Does a Data Breach Cost Companies?” which surveyed 14 organizations, the cost of recovering from a single security breach averaged $4 million per company per breach (about $140 per lost customer record). Direct costs—outside legal counsel, increased call-center costs and related items—were $5 million.

It gets worse. You may face state and federal investigations as well as civil suits, regulatory fines, a small fortune in alerting affected customers, the worst possible PR and, of course, lost customers. Another Ponemon Institute report, Consumer Survey on Data Security Breach Notification, states that of the 9,000 respondents who were notified by law that their data was lost or compromised, 20 percent terminated their relationship with the company that lost their data and an additional 40 percent were contemplating doing the same.


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