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Risk Management News & Analysis

Customers Aren't Worried About Data Breaches [Infographic]

2014-20-November-yawn.jpgHere's good news for every company that's careless with personally identifiable information: Your customers apparently don't care.

A new study by global IT association ISACA shows that consumers haven’t changed their shopping behaviors despite a year of retail data breaches — worrisome, the organization maintains, especially with the shopaholic trifecta of Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is just a week away.

It's not that consumers are unaware of the problem. According to the 2014 ISACA IT Risk/Reward Barometer, almost all US consumers (94 percent) have read or heard about major retailer data breaches in the past year. But while three-fourths of those surveyed claim those data breaches have increased their concerns about their personal data privacy, few are doing anything about it.

When Your Organization's Reputation is at Risk

An organization’s reputation is critical to their success (in almost every case). A smart CEO and her board pay attention to the organization’s reputation and take care to nurture, protect and grow it.

A new survey by Deloitte reinforces that obvious truth and states one other truth that should be obvious to us all: “reputation risk is driven by other business risks.”

Why Risk Management Technology Projects Fail

Too many organizations buy risk management solutions for today, without thinking of their needs for the future.

Michael Rasmussen works with a number of companies that sell solutions for risk management (these days typically packaged with other “stuff” and mislabeled GRC solutions) and helps buyers of those solutions, as well as participating in related conferences and seminars.

And though he has never run a risk management function, his views merit attention.

Quantifying the Value of Your Data

Whether it’s the amount of risk in a particular decision or the reason for a problem that impacts the bottom line, the unknown is a scary concept. As businesses continue to generate vast amounts of data, the business value of this information is palpable. However, determining whether or not this data has any economic value is difficult. Armed with advanced tools that produce incredibly huge amounts of data, storage, retrieval and analysis, businesses have taken on a new method to minimize this unknown.

Lost Your Phone? You're Probably a Guy [Infographic]

2014-25-September-battle-of-the-sexes.jpgIn the spirit of everything politically incorrect, let's talk about the superiority of women over men. OK, that's a stretch.

Let's talk about the documented, somewhat scientific finding that men can be much more irresponsible than women when it comes to losing their electronic devices.

That's the conclusion from TeamViewer, a provider of remote control and online meetings software. The company just announced the findings of its airbackup Employee Behavioral Study, which examined the behavior and attitudes of American office workers and how they affect on-the-job data loss.

Based on a sponsored Harris Poll of more than 2,000 American adults last month, men just can't keep their phones in their pockets.

Nearly half of employed men (46 percent) admit to being likely to lose the electronic device they use for work and all the important company files on it, compared to only 27 percent of employed women. And young men are the worst — with a whopping 60 percent of men ages 18 to 34 years-old owning up to likely device loss, compared to 30 percent of women in the same age group.

The Key to Security is Subtlety

2014-23-September-Megaphone.jpgPeople are similar when you dig deep: they want to get thing done and move on to the next thing. Even procrastinators get great work done when faced with having to get an even larger task accomplished.

Most people also share a degree of stubbornness. People are happy to do things your way if they see the benefit, but anything that's perceived as getting in the way is quickly worked around. When you try and force something, they will dig in their feet on sheer principle. It's amazing how hard people will work around things that they view as unnecessary change.

For organizations rolling out new systems, this is a problem.

Hoarders Anonymous for Unstructured Data

2014-19-September-Pez-Collection.jpgDo you have a storage area where you keep items you rarely or never use? Do you periodically sort out your stuff, or do you keep collecting items of debatable value? It’s human nature to hold onto things we never use for extended periods of time -- it's like the junk drawer everybody has somewhere in their house that holds a collection of random items we think are important, but we usually use the same few items every time we open the drawer.

It’s called a “JUNK drawer” for a reason -- because it’s mostly junk, and most of it should be tossed in the trash. So why do we keep these items of questionable value or use?

My Tolerance for Risk Appetite Is Fading

Making people believe they have effective risk management because they discuss a point-in-time list of so-called “top risks” and set limits for those few risks is making them believe in fairies.

It is setting them up to be surprised and for a failure to deliver success.

What Continuous Compliance Success Looks Like

2014-17-July-King-World.jpgThere is no specific, prescriptive path to guarantee your business will be covered for every eventuality and incident it may encounter. But by following three steps, you can get you -- and your organization -- in a proactive compliance and security mindset.

Communication Is Key to Continuous Compliance

Compliance is no longer a monthly, or even weekly, task -- it’s something that needs constant evaluation and adjustment. Sources change and applicability of control over data should be under consistent review -- that’s the age of continuous compliance we live in today. One requirement of continuous compliance is ongoing, effective and intelligent communication. There are some ways to help improve communication and ensure your compliance and security teams get the best, most relevant and timely information to keep you secure and compliant -- and remain that way.

Why Selectica Bolstered Contract Management With Iasta

2014-9-June-blaine_mathieu.jpg

Selectica CEO Blaine Mathieu told us in April the latest version of his company's contract management solution is like CMS “on steroids.”

With the provider’s acquisition of Iasta this month, Selectica could be banned from Major League Baseball for steroid use.

Iasta, a Gartner leader in its 2013 Magic Quadrant for Strategic Sourcing Application Suites, brings to Selectica its suite for upstream procurement solutions. Selectica’s wants Iasta to complement its own contract management solution.

“We started as a strategic partnership, but it became apparent that we could be much more powerful together than apart,” CEO Mathieu said. 

Do You Know When Your System Is Breached?

Information security professionals are always chasing to catch up with the bad guys.

Traditional information security (or cybersecurity) is focused on preventing unauthorized access to your network, systems, applications, infrastructure and data.

But, as we all know only too well, the people trying to get in are exposing and exploiting vulnerabilities faster than we can plug the holes. 

Surveys of security professionals around the globe report that more than 80 percent of companies know they have been hacked. The roughly 15 percent who did not report being hacked probably don’t know -- they just haven’t detected it yet.

Missing the Boat on IT and Technology

2014-29-April-Ship-Launch.jpgWhen you look at surveys of CEOs, such as the one by PwC in 2014, McKinsey in 2013 and IBM in 2012, they reflect what we should all know: that the innovative use of technology is one of, if not the primary, enabler of business innovation these days.

Whether it’s connecting with the customer (as referenced by IBM), obtaining market insights (through analytics including big data analytics -- see this discussion of a McKinsey report), or simply finding new ways to deliver products and services to customers, technology is a critical driver of business success.

The Holes in the Enterprise Cloud's Silver Lining

2014-25-April-Pop-Quiz.jpgPop quiz time.

Take out your #2 pencil and select the best answer that completes the following sentence.

Cloud services will revolutionize ______________.

  • A. the way software gets delivered.
  • B. the way software is licensed, by becoming a "pay as you go" option.
  • C. the way workers access services.
  • D. IT implementation, support and infrastructure costs.
  • E. the way business gets done, by letting mobile workers access information anytime, anywhere.
  • F. All of the above.

Unless you have been hiding out in a fallout shelter for the last five years, you probably picked “F. All of the above.” And if you did, you would be correct.

Be Pragmatic to Succeed in Information Governance

If I had to encapsulate in one phrase everything I’ve learned about doing information governance (IG) and related disciplines over the last 20 odd years, it’s that you should be pragmatic. Being pragmatic does not mean being shoddy, either by solving the problem at hand in a way that hinders other initiatives or the “big picture,” or by neglecting compliance obligations, or by accepting too much risk. Being pragmatic means being creative and rigorous in how you develop and assess your options to achieve your IG objectives.

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