Data Breaches are still misunderstood

The Ponemon Institute and Ounce Labs ( released a study on the view CEOs have regarding data protection in their environment. In the study of 213 CEOs and other senior executives, CEOs did not share the same view on how secure their organization is with their executives. 92 percent of respondents said they were attacks. Who has the more realistic view of data security? Could it also be the fault of the executives who usually do not share all the bad information with the CEO? That is probably part of the security education challenge the CEO faces. 


The study also found that 33 percent of C-level executives replied that attacks happened “hourly or more often,” while only 17 percent of CEOs said the same thing. That’s a pretty big difference of opinion. Whose responsibility is it to manage, monitor and report on hacker activity? Obviously tactically speaking it fall under IT, the CIO or maybe even the Chief Compliance Officer. But ultimate responsibility in any company falls to the CEO. If a data breach happens such as in the case of TJ Max, it’s the CEO who has to appear on television to explain what happened and answer to their customers.


How do you apply security metrics to report appropriately to the CEO? That magic “Dashboard” is what everyone is after and no one gets right. A good Compliance dashboard that you may want to check out comes with the reports from RiskWatch software ( Its worth a look.


The category of technology CEO’s need to focus on these days is Data Loss Prevention (DLP). Every major company in security has a DLP product and the reason is probably because the education is finally in the market around the necessity of looking at all inputs and output of data in the organization. A data breach can be caused by lack of proper firewalls, no antivirus, no browser protection, not malware protection, lack of patch management or no vulnerability management. Or it could be a hundred other things. A CEO needs to know these terms, how data flows and what the data life cycle really means if they are to truly grasp the threat to their environment.


Prevention is really worth more than detection. If the CEO doesn’t bridge the gap to thinking they might be secure to understanding that they are under attack ever day and perhaps every minute, data breached will continue to occur.


Gary Bahadur

CEO KRAA Security,

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