Ask the experts: Assessing the cost of security breaches

High-stakes hacking has been a major theme for American businesses in 2014. The recent wave of data breaches at popular retailers have made consumers more aware — and warier — of the very real threat that their sensitive financial information could slip easily into criminal hands…..

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What are the lasting lessons from the recent string of high-profile data breaches?

The recent data breaches at Target, Neiman and Marcus emphasizes the importance to be proactive and not just reactive in information security protection. The recent data breaches had targeted point of sale systems and there were alerts generated earlier in the year by VISA in regard to increase in memory-scraping malware. A lot of security breach exploits have a history of being discovered months prior to being manifested at a large scale. Being proactive in the security environment are key for large retailers, banks and other institutions. Recent sources suggest that the attack at Target was originated by a HVAC firm that did business with the retailer. Organization need to have strict policies in place for third party vendors connecting to their networks and need to be actively monitoring networks and hosts for anomalous behavior. Finally, the recent breaches just reiterate that attackers are actively on the lookout and can infiltrate networks from the least expected entry points. Therefore organizations cannot afford to be only reactive anymore.

What needs to be done to ensure that our personal information is better protected in the future?

The protection of personal information calls for joint efforts from consumers, corporations and government. All have a role to play in ensuring data protection…

Read the rest of Dr. Abraham’s interview at WalletHub.com.