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Hackers Are Winning, the FBI’s Top Cyber Cop Says

hackersShawn Henry, the executive assistant director of the FBI, commonly known as the Bureau’s “top cyber cop,” raised a dire warning about hacker attacks against corporate data networks. “We’re not winning,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

Henry said that companies must make major changes in the way they handle data security: By operating vulnerable computer networks, companies risk damaging not only themselves, but also national security and the national economy. The current way of doing things, Henry said, is not sustainable, and we have to change the technology or behavior. The current model is “[u]nsustainable in that you never get ahead, never become secure, never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security.''

Henry said that FBI agents have been finding company networks that were breached where company executives didn’t even know themselves that their networks had been compromised. He said he felt frustrated because many company executives don’t realize how serious the hacking problem is.

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute of 49 companies in 14 different industries found that the number of hacker attacks on company data increased from 2010 to 2011. Not all data breaches, however, were caused by malicious attacks. In fact, 39 percent of data breaches were caused by negligent insiders, while malicious attacks accounted for 37 percent.

The Ponemon study also found that the cost to the companies per record that was breached declined from 2010 to 2011, suggesting that the companies were becoming better at both preparing for and responding to data breaches.

WeComply’s online information security training course explains the basic principles of information security to help employees safeguard company data against breaches. 

Categories: Data Privacy & Security
Tags: Data Privacy, Data Security, Information Security

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