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Risk

6/11/2008
11:58 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Data Breaches: It's The Stupid Mistakes, Stupid!

It's rarely comforting when hard numbers confirm bonehead truths we all know, but that's exactly what a new study does, showing that the vast majority of data breaches are not only avoidable, they're pretty easily and almost effortlessly avoidably. It's in not making that relatively minor effort that breaches breed, and the bad guys know it.

It's rarely comforting when hard numbers confirm bonehead truths we all know, but that's exactly what a new study does, showing that the vast majority of data breaches are not only avoidable, they're pretty easily and almost effortlessly avoidably. It's in not making that relatively minor effort that breaches breed, and the bad guys know it.According to the Verizon Business Security survey, nearly 90 percent of data breaches resulted from carelessness or incompetence.

The incompetent, probably, will be with us always, but the carelessness can be addressed immediately.

While Verizon found that most of the breaches originated outside the business itself, that breathtaking 90 percent figure also includes the vulnerabilities themselves, i.e.:

90 percent of exploited vulnerabilities took advantage of unpatched holes -- for which patches had been available for at least six months.

Want another 90 percent solution? Okay:

90 percent of business breaches involve an unknown system, account, log-on or connection. Unknown to the business, that is -- not to the intruder.

90 percent making your head spin? Drop back to the three-quarters level:

75 percent of breaches are discovered by a third-party outside, not by the business itself!

None of this is good news, but none of it is particularly unexpected news either.

Which doesn't make it feel any better -- and which should immediately raise the stakes for your business to perform an immediate and thorough patch review along with an equally immediate and absolutely thorough access, device and system review.

In other words, know thyself -- because it's a sure bet that the bad guys are working overtime to know where incompetence and carelessness have left holes in your system. Holes they can use to get to know you business far better than your worst nightmares would ever want.

The complete Verizon Business Security report is here.

Check out the bMighty ANTenna's twitch of the report here.

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