Startup To Launch New Brand Of SaaS For Post-Incident Response

'Data loss management' firm officially launches this week
A startup that will officially come out of stealth mode on Wednesday has built a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering for organizations to handle the mostly manual processes involved in responding to a data loss breach.

Co3 Systems, based in Cambridge, Mass., is headed up by an executive team who hails from key security firms such as Symantec, McAfee, Counterpane, Arbor Networks, Application Security Inc., @stake, and Verdasys. The firm's new SaaS offering encompasses event preparedness, data event analysis, liability assessment, and incident response workflow.

Most of these steps today are handled manually, and mishandling or mistakes can be costly, says Ted Julian, chief marketing officer at Co3 Systems. "[Victim organizations] are doing it themselves, with manual processes and spreadsheets," he says. Or they hire third-party forensics and IR expert firms such as Mandiant, he says.

"The security industry is focused on pre-incident. There's very little on post-incident," Julian says.

Jon Oltsik, principal analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, says Co3 has pulled together the tools for best practices for conducting due diligence in the aftermath of a data breach. "A lot of people make the mistake that it's all about incident response," Oltsik says of the post-breach phase. Co3's SaaS is more about the business process involved: How do you work with the legal and PR teams when your firm discovers it was breached, he says, or how do you get in touch with regulators? "All of those things have to be coordinated, and need to be managed," Oltsik says.

The SaaS offering incorporates regulatory reporting requirements, for example, and workflow management for all of the groups within an organization that have some role in the aftermath of a breach, including IT, security, privacy/compliance group, the legal department, and the finance and audit group.

"The increased pace of data loss, growing complexity of the regulatory environment, and need to work across functions in the organization mean that spreadsheets just don't cut it as a data-loss management strategy. Firms need not only a more purpose-built solution to manage data loss, but also one that both techies in IT and external legal council will use," says Liam Lynch, founder of LiamSoft Internet Security Ventures and formerly chief security strategist for eBay.

Companies manage their data-breach responses in an often manual and haphazard way, leaving the door open for mistakes and fines, according to Co3 executives. Co3's Julian says the SaaS is aimed at helping victim organizations have a plan and system in place for data loss events, and to be able to respond efficiently so that they minimize their costs and any fines. The SaaS also provides information on legislation related to data breaches, as well as disclosure letter templates and contact information.

Enterprise Strategy Group's Oltsik says Co3 is filling a hole in the market for organizations that don't want to have to build their own in-house expertise or systems to handle data-loss incident response.

Co3 Systems is currently offering a free 90-day trial of the service. Pricing for the service is $450 per month; customers can then select from two levels of service packages based on the number of data loss incidents they expect annually.

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