The case for increased cyber-security came to a crescendo this month with news of hack attacks aimed at national media as well as popular social media sites. In addition to word from Facebook, Twitter announced some 250,000 user accounts may have been compromised in the episode they experienced. These cases come on the heels of similar attacks waged on websites affiliated with The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. This month, concern further compelled the Obama administration to release a new executive order calling for improving critical infrastructure with respect to cyber-security. As long as such issues dominate headlines, anticipate other news in the way of new product and service offerings from security specialists.
Vigilant Software, an ISO27001 specializing in cybersecurity risk assessment solutions, has announced a new update to their software package known as vsRisk. Used by many organizations throughout the world, the software simplifies and automates the information used typically in the risk assessment process. CEO Alan Calder estimates that the new vsRisk will reduce the time taken to carry out a risk assessment by 90 percent.
Group-IB, a world-leading computer security company headquartered in Russia, has just announced their offering of Bot-Trek, a tool that retrieves compromised data and intelligence stolen by infiltrating botnets, and returns it back to the original intellectual property owners via a SaaS solution. Group-IB US Managing Partner Dan Clements says botnets are an exploding problem as they are used to steal private data, send spam, provide anonymous services for crimes, and perform DDoS-attacks against enterprises, governments, service providers, and telecoms. He says Bot-Trek will go where no malware has gone before by capturing real time data and getting it back to the original owners. He sees this as a preemptive solution that offers savings on hard costs as well as increased protection.
Cyber threats were also the theme of a special February hearing held by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. During the hearing, testimony was offered by Baltimore Gas and Electric CEO Ken DeFontes. BG&E is an affiliate of a company known as Exelon which holds the 2013 Board of Director’s Chair for the Electric Power Supply Association. In that cyber security is a critical component of safeguarding the nation’s power grid, DeFontes credited The Chertoff Group (led by former DHS Chief Michael Chertoff) as an enterprise that professionally “assists in building a framework and developing effective policies to prevent and respond to cybersecurity incidents.” The Chertoff Group was among a number of companies who recently partnered with the FCC to launch and promote Small Biz Cyber Planner 2.0, an online tool designed to help small businesses create a customized cybersecurity strategy.
According to the Chertoff Group, studies suggest more than 80 percent of small businesses have no formal cybersecurity plan in place to protect against threats. Research further indicates a typical cyber attack can cost a business an average of approximately $200,000 (more in terms of reputation in News Corp. perspective).
The bottom line, with increased risks come increased tools and services to mitigate those risks. Industry analysts anticipate this theme to continue throughout 2013.