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

flash-logo

Adobe Patches Zero-Day Flaw Being Exploited in the Wild

Posted January 22, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Earlier this week, French malware researcher Kafeine reported on a new Adobe Flash zero-day vulnerability that was being exploited in the wild using the latest versions of the Angler Exploit Toolkit. “Any version of Internet Explorer or Firefox with any version of Windows will get owned if Flash up to 16.0.0.287 (included) is installed and enabled”…

Tags:
, , , , ,

Your Data Security Strategy Starts with Deploying a Least Privilege Model (part 2 of 2)

Posted January 22, 2015    Scott Lang

In last week’s blog, we talked about how controls and accountability must be put into place so that only the right folks can access data and the systems on which that data resides, and that employing a least privilege model helps to achieve that and more. We’re using conclusions and data from a recent report…

Tags:
, , , ,
Larry-Brock-CISO

Basic Blocking and Tackling for Defending Against Advanced Targeted Attacks

Posted January 22, 2015    Larry Brock

With football season at its pinnacle at both the college and professional levels, the best teams continually focus on the fundamentals that make them successful. In security, we need to do the same.  It is okay for us to have a few key plays, especially in certain industries where we have to focus on unique…

Tags:
, , , , ,