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The Coalfire Blog

The Ponemon Institute 2013 Cost of Cyber Crime Study is out

November 26, 2013, Rick Dakin, CEO, Co-founder and Chief Security Strategist

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Rick Dakin

Before anyone else conjures up the image of Steve Martin (in the Jerk) running down the street with the new phone book and declaring the obvious to all around him, let’s put this study in perspective.  There is nothing new or unexpected in the 2013 study.  We have had it confirmed that cybercrime is still a big issue and it costs all of us a lot of time and money to combat a growing list of criminals and terrorists.

The link to the HP Enterprise Security sponsored research is: .  Please connect to the HP site and download the “official” version rather than taking a boot leg copy from someone else.  First, it is the right thing to do and second, you will continue to probably get more relevant information from the HP security team in the future.

On a more serious note, the study does remind us that cyber risk is real and that cyber attacks are growing in both sophistication and impact.  Most every one of Coalfire’s clients is already very familiar with the threat and is now focused on risk management processes.  The trend is even more dramatic when I looked back to see how many of our clients are bringing our reports or our teams into their board rooms to summarize the readiness of each of our clients to defend against the growing risk.  We see this trend continuing to drive the discussion from the data center to the board room.  We also see our early compliance reports being integrated into a more comprehensive risk assessment for the entire enterprise.

Unlike the feeling that you get by reading a threat report like the Ponemon Cyber Crime Report, we see progress in risk management across a wide sector of the banking, retail and healthcare sector.  However, the work has really only started.  We have lots of new territory to address like cloud deployment of sensitive data, mobility in the workplace and the ever growing ecosystem of 3rd parties connected to our sensitive data and critical systems.

This is a long way of saying that the Ponemon Report is worth another review this year.  However, I do not see this report as being a startling driver for dramatic change.  I see it as further justification to drive for better transparency for controls and continued investment in justified risk management.

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