BeyondTrust

Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

The Cost of a Data Breach Just Went Up

Posted May 13, 2011    Peter McCalister

Today, enterprises are hopefully well aware of the high price they could pay if they experience a breach in the confidential data of their customers. But now, in addition to applicable remediation expenses and a whole lot of bad publicity, companies may also have to fear the financial wrath of the government, as lawmakers have begun to institute fines for businesses that fail to secure their customers’ personal information.

In March, Massachusetts levied its first data security data breach fine against the ownership group of several Boston area taverns in a settlement that forces the organization to pay $110,000 for failing to secure its patrons’ personal information. According to the lawsuit, the company experienced a data breach last year when malware was discovered on their computer systems, which allowed hackers access to customers’ credit and debit card information, including names and account numbers. The malware then remained on the systems for eight months before being removed. In addition to paying the fine, the company was also ordered to beef up it’s network security system.

The relevant Massachusetts law mandates that businesses set a minimum standard of data security to protect the personal information of the state’s residents, although it isn’t yet clear what factors will determine whether the attorney general’s office will enforce the law and how subsequent fines will be tabulated.

If this new reality is scaring some businesses, it should. In the technological age with all of the personal information floating around, it’s mind-boggling that companies still don’t take even the most basic steps to protect the data of their customers. In the pre-computer database days when you had a handwritten record of all your customers and their credit card numbers, you wouldn’t leave the file box sitting unguarded in the middle of the street, would you? Nor would you afford each and every employee the opportunity to access that file whenever he or she to or to take that file home. So why aren’t businesses taking the equivalent precautions with their digital assets? It’s unfortunate when legislation and government has to get involved, but hopefully in this instance it will serve as a wake-up call for any of those companies out there that are still on the fence about adding security to their infrastructure.

Leave a Reply

Additional articles

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

Tags:
, , , , ,
dave-shackleford-headshot

Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

Tags:
, ,
patch-tuesday

December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

Tags:
,