Risk
9/24/2009
06:52 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Survey Says: PCI DSS Compliance Not Strategic

That's right. A survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute, and backed by security firm Imperva, says that the vast majority of firms don't view the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) as a strategic initiative.

That's right. A survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute, and backed by security firm Imperva, says that the vast majority of firms don't view the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) as a strategic initiative.The question is why? Why don't companies that handle credit card information view security as a strategic priority? There are a couple reasons that come immediately to mind. First, it's hard work and requires persistence. Second, good security doesn't increase market share: consumers don't reward companies when nothing bad happens. Third, many companies simply don't believe the worst will happen to them. Or, even if they do, they figure they'll handle the cost of the breach and move on.

The survey (registration required) included more than 500 U.S.-based and multinational firms. And, with the average annual revenue of survey respondents at $5.6 billion, the survey was not filled with small businesses that one would expect to be strapped. Nevertheless, the survey found that 71% of respondents said that their company does not treat PCI DSS as a strategic initiative.

The kicker: 79% of this very same group has experienced a data breach that involved the loss or theft of credit card information.

That data hints that incurring the cost of a breach is cheaper than protecting systems and data. So does the finding that 60% of respondents don't think they have sufficient resources to comply with PCI DSS or to reach a necessary level of cardholder security.

I found that last data point especially troubling. The digital infrastructure is a crucial part of modern supply and delivery chain. And it needs to be maintained to be both sustainable, and secure, or it will break down. This should have nothing to do with regulatory compliance - but it does. Move away from heavily regulated companies and the attitude toward security gets more complacent.

They're simply not investing in the technology or the people necessary to manage risk properly.

So what happens when security isn't treated as a "strategic initiative" by a broad swath of the business community? You get what we have today, and that's the near daily news reports of credit card, financial, and other personal data being breached.

The sad fact is that PCI DSS compliance should be considered a security baseline -- not the ultimate objective, which would be a secure infrastructure. It seems many companies, most in fact, aren't even willing to make the investment required to hit bare minimum.

Follow me on Twitter, @georgevhulme

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Dark Reading Live EVENTS
INsecurity - For the Defenders of Enterprise Security
A Dark Reading Conference
While red team conferences focus primarily on new vulnerabilities and security researchers, INsecurity puts security execution, protection, and operations center stage. The primary speakers will be CISOs and leaders in security defense; the blue team will be the focus.
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: No, no, no! Have a Unix CRON do the pop-up reminders!
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Problem
[Strategic Security Report] How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Problem
Enterprises are spending more of their IT budgets on cybersecurity technology. How do your organization's security plans and strategies compare to what others are doing? Here's an in-depth look.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.