Rick Dakin, CEO, Co-founder and Chief Security Strategist
On Wednesday, I attended a roundtable discussion the Securities and Exchange Commission held to gather information on cybersecurity trends and potential disclosure requirements for regulated public companies and stock exchanges.
The recent large-scale breaches in the retail sector loomed over all the discussions. To date, investors have mostly held back from punishing public companies that suffer large data breaches. That fact – along with the serious PR and sales repercussions that come with any public admittance of a security problem – led many of the executives in the room to argue the SEC should not require cyber-risks to be disclosed.
The lack of a national standard for disclosure puts public company executives and boards of directors in an awkward spot. None of the participants ask what standards a company like Target could use to ward off almost 100 class action lawsuits for failing to protect material operations and provide more thoughtful disclosure. By refusing to define the minimum levels of diligence required of the board for cyber risk disclosure, the SEC is leaving an open field for plaintiffs’ attorneys.
In light of this exposure, every leadership team needs to take a holistic approach to managing IT Risk, an approach that starts with basic questions like: What information do we have? Where is it? Who’s responsible for protecting it? And, in the worst case scenario, what happens if it’s compromised?
The discussions regarding capital markets were more insightful. These groups acknowledged that both FS ISAC and CHEF were active industry forums for discussing cyber-attacks. The exchanges also agreed that they would never disclose a cyber-attack – for fear of the potential negative impact on operations – but they understand the potential of serious disruptions from Denial of Service attacks or the stealing of a credential that causes a wave of fraudulent trades.
My number one takeaway from the sessions is that cyber-attacks will continue unabated until we finally see the Big One. That’s when people will be willing to step forward and address the problem.
In the meantime, there is enough awareness of the issues among these companies that we expect to see the use of cyber insurance coverage increase quickly. The take rates on dedicated cyber policies and critical infrastructure policies increased by 20 percent and 40 percent, respectively, last year.
Companies recognize they will take a serious shot at some point. Right now, their plan seems to be transferring that risk to insurance carriers who do not yet have enough loss experience to truly “insure” the loss or damage. As the large scale data breaches increase in frequency and intensity, the carriers will have a much more defined database to predict losses in selected industries with each insured company clearly identifying the risk mitigation efforts already in place.
Cybersecurity assessors like Coalfire will play a critical role in determining the effective deployment of risk mitigation controls to help carriers better identify the residual risk in systems. In the future, the direct connection between enterprise risk management programs to insurance programs will help both the carriers and the insureds.
Rick Dakin — CEO, Co-founder and Chief Security Strategist
Coalfire started in 2001 with a simple idea – cyber threats are increasing, compliance mandates are getting more complicated, and a well-designed cybersecurity program can help fuel your overall success.
Coalfire helps organizations comply with global financial, government, industry and healthcare mandates while helping build the IT infrastructure and security systems that will protect their business from security breaches and data theft. The company is a leading provider of IT advisory services for security in retail, payments, healthcare, financial services, higher education, hospitality, government and utilities.
The Coalfire Board of Directors provides invaluable guidance for the organization and reflects Coalfire’s dedication to achieving success for our customers.
Coalfire’s executive leadership team comprises some of the most knowledgeable professionals in cybersecurity, representing many decades of experience leading and developing teams to outperform in meeting the security challenges of commercial and government clients. With diverse backgrounds in IT systems security, governmental security, compliance, and reducing risk while implementing the latest enabling technologies (such as the Cloud and IoT), our leaders understand the challenges customers face.
Security is a team game. If your organization values both independence and security, perhaps we should become partners.
With a passion for quality, Coalfire uses a process-driven quality approach to improve the customer experience and deliver unparalleled results.
Created in honor of the late co-founder of Coalfire, the Richard E. Dakin Fund at The Denver Foundation is supporting scholarship programs at several universities for promising college students studying cybersecurity and related fields.
The increased need for cyber security has become a common enterprise priority across the globe. However, industry requirements for effective cyber risk management are as distinct as the individual entities under fire. Enterprises and government organizations need more than an off-the-shelf audit to provide an effective threat assessment. They need industry- and organization-specific insights, tools and processes to protect digital assets and ensure compliance.
Coalfire can help cloud service providers prioritize the cyber risks to the company, and find the right cyber risk management and compliance efforts that keeps customer data secure, and helps differentiate products.
"Success" at a government entity looks different at a commercial organization. Create cybersecurity solutions to support your mission goals with a team that understands your unique requirements.
The financial services industry was built upon security and privacy. As cyber-attacks become more sophisticated, a strong vault and a guard at the door won’t offer any protection against phishing, DDoS attacks and IT infrastructure breaches.
The continuum of care is a concept involving an integrated system of care that guides and tracks patients over time through a comprehensive array of health services spanning all levels of care. Interoperability is the central idea to this care continuum making it possible to have the right information at the right time for the right people to make the right decisions.
Maintaining network and data security in any large organization is a major challenge for information systems departments. However, in the higher education environment, the protection of IT assets and sensitive information must be balanced with the need for ‘openness’ and academic freedom; making this a more difficult and complex task.
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The payments industry is undergoing rapid changes and unfortunately, an increasing risk for data breaches. Cyber criminals are growing increasingly businesslike, and payments leaders need to move quickly to cover their cyber risk.
The global retail industry has become the top target for cyber terrorists, and the impact of this onslaught has been staggering to merchants. To secure the complex IT infrastructure of a retail environment, merchants must embrace enterprise-wide cyber risk management practices that reduces risk, minimizes costs and provides security to their customers and their bottom line.
Private enterprises serving government and state agencies need to be upheld to the same information management practices and standards as the organizations they serve. Coalfire has over 16 years of experience helping companies navigate increasing complex governance and risk standards for public institutions and their IT vendors.
Technology innovations are enabling new methods for corporations and governments to operate and driving changes in consumer behavior. The companies delivering these technology products are facilitating business transformation that provides new operating models, increased efficiency and engagement with consumers as businesses seek a competitive advantage.
Cybersecurity has entered the list of the top five concerns for U.S. electric utilities, and with good reason. According to the Department of Homeland Security, attacks on the utilities industry are rising "at an alarming rate".
Cyber risk management, advisory, technology and compliance services. Manage risk and maximize return on investment to prevent data breaches and theft. Coalfire’s solutions are led by a team of industry experts that help enterprise organizations understand a wide range of compliance and risk management initiatives, which enables a consistent cybersecurity framework across the organization.
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