Perimeter

7/18/2012
02:26 PM
50%
50%

Risks Deferred Are Risks Accepted

Decisions to delay compliance and security efforts do not delay the risks

The client did something I’ve seen many times before. The staff considered addressing obvious compliance and security issues, and then decided to postpone that work. While they said they were simply going to push the work back a few months, as typically happens, the postponement became indefinite.

Or perhaps more accurately, the postponement will be indefinite until a costly problem exposes these ignored risks as real, costly and immediate.

Like most clients, they claimed a number of reasons to postpone this work: cash flow, timing, budget restrictions, pending new projects, disruption to other projects, and the time required by management and staff.

Sounding sincere about their need to address these compliance and security issues, clients say, “This is going to be a lot of work, and we need to take care of other matters first so we can better focus on this with less distraction.”

Yet despite claiming to believe compliance and security work is important, clients usually minimize their concerns about risk. After all, they say, as they’ve grown their business, the risks have never materialized, and they really need to put their cash into the growth of the business.

As a business owner, I realize there are times you must make risky decisions. I know there are times where you do have to postpone important work because of something as simple as cash flow or lack of manpower. However, these risky decisions should be made with a sincere evaluation and acceptance of the risks, not by turning a convenient blind-eye and manufacturing emotional justification.

Too many leaders become overwhelmed by the size of the risks they have created -- or allowed to be created -- over time. When these issues become obvious, for whatever the reason, the most common response unfortunately is not to attack these risks full-blast or even to start whittling them down. No, the most common response is to push all these risks into the back of a dark closet where they can be ignored, where they can be put out of sight and out of mind.

Business leaders who decide to defer addressing real security and compliance risks must understand they are essentially self-insuring this risk. They have accepted the risks, even if that acceptance is by default or denial.

If a problem develops from these ignored compliance and security risks, it will be the business that pays the cost, whether it be cash, distraction, reputation, and, perhaps even, sanctions. Perhaps some risks are worth taking, but in most cases I see few leaders acknowledge the true risks and actual consequences. Apparently ignorance is bliss even when the ignorance is by choice.

Glenn S. Phillips, the president of Forte' Incorporated, works with business leaders who want to leverage technology and understand the often hidden risks within. He is the author of the book Nerd-to-English and you can find him on twitter at @NerdToEnglish.

Glenn works with business leaders who want to leverage technology and understand the often hidden risks awaiting them. The Founder and Sr. Consultant of Forte' Incorporated, Glenn and his team work with business leaders to support growth, increase profits, and address ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Government Shutdown Brings Certificate Lapse Woes
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  1/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: On the SS7 network, nobody knows you're a dog.
Current Issue
The Year in Security 2018
This Dark Reading Tech Digest explores the biggest news stories of 2018 that shaped the cybersecurity landscape.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Data breach fears and the need to comply with regulations such as GDPR are two major drivers increased spending on security products and technologies. But other factors are contributing to the trend as well. Find out more about how enterprises are attacking the cybersecurity problem by reading our report today.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-18812
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-16
The Spotfire Library component of TIBCO Software Inc.'s TIBCO Spotfire Analytics Platform for AWS Marketplace, and TIBCO Spotfire Server contains a vulnerability that might theoretically fail to restrict users with read-only access from modifying files stored in the Spotfire Library, only when the S...
CVE-2018-18813
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-16
The Spotfire web server component of TIBCO Software Inc.'s TIBCO Spotfire Analytics Platform for AWS Marketplace, and TIBCO Spotfire Server contains multiple vulnerabilities that may allow persistent and reflected cross-site scripting attacks. Affected releases are TIBCO Software Inc. TIBCO Spotfire...
CVE-2018-18814
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-16
The TIBCO Spotfire authentication component of TIBCO Software Inc.'s TIBCO Spotfire Analytics Platform for AWS Marketplace, and TIBCO Spotfire Server contains a vulnerability in the handling of the authentication that theoretically may allow an attacker to gain full access to a target account, indep...
CVE-2018-5740
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-16
"deny-answer-aliases" is a little-used feature intended to help recursive server operators protect end users against DNS rebinding attacks, a potential method of circumventing the security model used by client browsers. However, a defect in this feature makes it easy, when the feature is i...
CVE-2018-5741
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-16
To provide fine-grained controls over the ability to use Dynamic DNS (DDNS) to update records in a zone, BIND 9 provides a feature called update-policy. Various rules can be configured to limit the types of updates that can be performed by a client, depending on the key used when sending the update ...