Posts from ‘Visibility’
Hey SEC, it’s Frank Kenney at Ipswitch. I don’t mean to rock the boat but I had a few quick questions regarding your recent announcement that you are requiring companies to notify their customers of a breach or risk of breach.
- What’s a “breach”? Does it mean the bad guys came in and took the data? Or maybe the data was left unencrypted? Or perhaps an executive lost his or her BlackBerry? Wikipedia talks about breaches of confidence, breaches of contract and breaches of faith. Is it all or none of the above?
- What does “notify” mean? Email? Snail mail? SMS? Press release? Facebook status update? Tweet? We just don’t know. And when do they need to send that out? When it happens (or it happened?) When it was discovered? When it was fixed? This is key and I say this because the breaches that happened were reported months after they actually happened. So when?
- And by “customers”, do you mean people who pay for my services? What if my services are free like social networks? Does free = exempt? What if I give you my email and contact info, does that make me a customer?
- What in the world is “risk of breach” and why shouldn’t I just fix it instead of telling my customers?
If you don’t mind I’d like to give the public in general my 2 cents…
The real story is this: we should all take these breaches seriously because at some point they will impact us individually. We must make it crystal clear to our service providers, our Internet providers and in some cases our employers that there needs to be policies and enforcement around the proper use and retention of our private information. We must also make clear that these same providers must put processes in place to better communicate and resolve any future data breaches. In much the same way we now see consumers making purchase decisions based on the carbon footprint of their suppliers/providers, the same approach will be taken when it comes to private confidential information. We at Ipswitch believe putting a secure managed file transfer solution in place will allow these suppliers to stem breaches by giving them visibility into how data is being accessed and for what purpose BEFORE these breaches happen.
As George Hulme recently wrote, the vision of Senator Richard Blumenthal’s data breach legislation is simple enough: Protect individuals’ personally identifiable information from data theft, and penalize firms that don’t adequately secure their customers’ information.
Clearly, there’s a need for organizations to better secure confidential and private customer information. It seems that a week rarely passes without a new high-profile data breach in the news. In fact, 2011 is trending to be the worst-ever year for data breaches. And that is despite many U.S. states introducing legislation that expands the scope of state laws, sets stricter requirements related to notification of data breaches involving personal information, and increases penalties for those responsible for breaches.
I agree with Senator Blumenthal’s concept of establishing “appropriate minimum security plans”…. But color me skeptical on the government’s ability to appropriately monitor and enforce those plans, especially after witnessing the mighty struggles at effectively governing the dozens of state laws already on the books.
My skepticism is shared by many, including Mark Rasch, director of cybersecurity and privacy consulting at Computer Sciences Corporation: “The devil is in the details with these laws. We’ve had regulations, from Gramm-Leach-Bliley to HIPAA, that purport to help protect consumer data. Companies are already victims in these attacks, so why are we penalizing them after a breach? I think that’s because it’s easier to issue fines than it is to track down the criminals and go after them.”
In my opinion, business leaders need to prioritize their own internal efforts to properly protect sensitive information rather than wait on the government to catch up. First order of business is to identify where confidential files and data live in your organization and ensure visibility of that info (after all, how can you protect what you don’t know about?). Fortunately, there are technology solutions available to help organizations better manage and govern their critical files and data as they are being moved and consumed both internally and with business partners and across people, systems and various business applications.
Join us on September 29 at 1:00 p.m. ET for our latest webcast, Top Tips for Managing File Transfer & Application Integration.
More and more, organizations are beginning to realize that their old batch-file-and-script methods of file transfer and application integration don’t work. They’re unwieldy, primitive, difficult to manage, and often not 100% reliable – not to mention less scalable than the organization might wish. Don Jones, Principal Technologist at Concentrated Technology, and Andre Bakken, Director of Product Management at Ipswitch, will provide the top tips for managing file transfer and application integration in a more modern way. You’ll learn about the key failings in most organizations’ existing techniques, and look at the core capabilities you should be looking for as you move to improve your organization’s treatment of these critical tasks.
Register Now for the webcast!
What: Webcast – Top Tips for Managing File Transfer & Application Integration
When: September 29 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Who: Don Jones, Principal Technologist at Concentrated Technology and Andre Bakken, Director of Product Management at Ipswitch