Archive for the 'FISMA Compliance' Category

The Real Cost of Data Breaches

Recently it seems like large-scale data breaches are an almost weekly occurrence. But, just because they are more commonplace does not mean their impacts are any less severe for businesses or for customers whose data is compromised.

Though there were several high profile data breaches in the last 9 months — eBay, AOL (again!), Neiman Marcus and more — the Target hack stands out from them all. With more than 40 million credit card numbers stolen, Target is still reeling from the cost of its data breach. So, just how much does a breach like Target’s actually cost?

The Cost of Data Breaches is on the Rise

In its ninth annual report on the global cost of data breaches, the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost to a company was $3.5 million, a 15 percent increase over the cost of a data breach in 2013. In the US, the cost incurred for each compromised record rose to $201, while the cost for breaches caused by malicious attack had a price of $245 per record. While big companies like Target may receive insurance money to offset the direct cost of a breach, data breaches carry many hidden costs.

The impact of any data breach goes well beyond just dollars and cents, but here’s the effect on the bottom line for Target: fourth quarter profits down 46 percent, and a profit outlook below Wall Street estimates for the entire next fiscal year. The company’s Q1 profits fell 16 percent, and it announced that the data breach has cost it a net $18 million so far, and that number is sure to rise.

The Cause of Data Breaches

While criminal activity and hacking make headlines, most data breaches are caused either by human error or system glitches. According to Symantec and Ponemon, 64 percent of breaches in 2012 were cause by human mistakes or system problems. And in the case of the Target breach, human error allowed the breach to continue to grow even after it was detected by security specialists. Organizations that have strong security postures, or those who have chosen strong partners to secure their sensitive data were able to reduce the cost of data breaches by 20 percent, according to the report.

How to Minimize Cost

The Ponemon report found that while the financial cost of a data breach was immense, a poor reputation and a loss of customer loyalty caused the most damage to the bottom line. Like any disaster, cleanup is not a one-time cost: companies must spend heavily to repair their brand image, fix relationships with old customers and acquire new ones.

The report also showed that heavily regulated industries such as healthcare, financial services and manufacturing have a higher per capita breach cost, with healthcare data breach costs averaging $316 per compromised record. With that much on the line, it’s important to have a strong secure cloud partner

Whether you’re choosing a private or secure public cloud, Layered Tech can offer a flexible cloud platform that meets your most pressing needs. Our secure cloud solution can connect to physical databases, providing you with a hybrid solution for high availability, site failover and disaster recovery. Optional add-ons provide additional security and compliance, back-up services, managed services, and application and system monitoring for a robust solution. Layered Tech is proud to partner with clients to drive innovation, to be a leader in secure cloud and compliant hosting solutions, and understands the importance of helping grow your business, and secure your data.

About the Author: Dennis Pickard holds CIA & CISA certifications and is the IT Audit Lead in the Compliance and Security Group of Layered Tech. He has more than 20 years of experience in compliance and technology audits, primarily in the Financial Services industry. Throughout his professional career, he has directed and performed numerous PCI DSS & HIPAA security and privacy analysis activities.

 

Why Education and Certification Matters for Tech Service Providers

It seems obvious that better trained employees will have a positive impact in any business. Yet, a recent survey by Accenture found that 35% of executives say they have not invested enough in training to develop the skills they need, and 64% anticipate loss of revenue due to this skill gap

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Startups That Fly – Layered Tech’s Role

As Director of Compliance and Security services at Layered Tech since 2008, I have seen our Compliant Services business grow significantly during that time. With that growth, there has been a noticeable phenomenon related to our startup clients who have reached an attractiveness level high enough to become acquisition targets.

We are in a unique position to see this happen from start to finish. It is a behind-the-scenes supporting role where our economy of scale and simplified audit-service goals lend upward momentum. I have seen this happen several times, including with Layered Tech itself. It is a topic that deserves some background, so let me lay out an example of what I mean.

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Q4 Update From Layered Tech CEO Jack Finlayson

I’m excited to update you on the progress and status of Layered Technologies (LT) Inc. as we begin the fourth quarter of 2013.

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What You Need To Know About Application Performance Management

I have seen a shift in responsibility for overseeing and managing applications. Application monitoring and management is increasingly moving from application architects and developers and into IT operations. Our clients’ IT management folks are expected to be responsible for ensuring application health and performance and therefore are increasingly relying upon Layered Tech to provide management information and dashboard.

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Is It Safe?

Some of you might remember the movie Marathon Man starring Dustin Hoffman as Babe.  In it, he is repeatedly questioned by the former Nazi SS dentist, Dr. Christian Szell and asked, “Is it safe?”

Christian Szell: Is it safe? Is it safe?

Babe: You’re talking to me?

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Should You Care About Application Performance Management?

Every customer running revenue-critical business applications should consider adding application performance monitoring and management.  For this reason, we have taken our experience deploying application performance monitoring tools for our customers and released a standard managed solution.  Our new Application Performance Management (APM) service, powered by AppDynamics, offers a “managed with” model in which we integrate APM with our customers’ managed hosting and cloud service. We handle the deployment, configuration, monitoring and assist clients with utilizing the APM solution.

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Layered Tech Commitment to Privacy Continues with Safe Harbor Recertification

With the prevalence of cybercrime, governments have enacted laws; organizations have established standards; and companies such as Layered Tech have implemented considerable administrative, technical, and physical controls on information security to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data.

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Take the Plunge Into the Cloud

Plunge into the cloud with Layered Tech cloud hosting and cloud servicesI have spent the last 12 years working in sales in the hosting industry, and I must say that the last 4+ have been the most interesting with the emergence of cloud hosting in the market. I spend my days working with current and future cloud users, and from what I have gathered over the past few years, new cloud adopters usually have three major concerns when it comes to hosting their applications in the cloud:
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Up and to the Right: Layered Tech advances in Gartner Magic Quadrant

Gartner Research logoGartner recently published the 2013 edition of the Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting which included Layered Tech. Since our first inclusion in 2010, Layered Tech has significantly increased our ranking and position with respect to completeness of vision and ability to execute. We have consistently moved up and to the right.

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