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How do you tackle cyber crime?

Carol Ko | June 30, 2009
Information security is a 12-month-per-year effort and not like an annual hair cut, says Mark Goudie, managing principal, Asia Pacific, investigative response, Verizon Business

•    The other significant shift was the size of the data breaches. Last year, our case load consisted of 285 million compromised records, and the previous four years combined was only 235 million records.

•    We believe that organised crime is behind 90 per cent of all compromised records in the last year. This is another dramatic shift in that last 12-month statistics. We also see that organised crime is hacking into businesses in their own country. Typical attacks a few years ago used to use a staging point in another country to minimise the risk of prosecution, but this is becoming common as time goes by.

•    The nature of data compromise and that almost three quarters of all data breaches are notified by third parties leads us to believe that the data breaches that we see and those that are publicly disclosed are just the tip of the iceberg. The most common type of record compromised in our caseload is payment cards. There are sophisticated mechanisms and a financial imperative to recognise payment card fraud, and therefore breaches of payment card data. Typically a pattern of payment card data can only have been stolen from a single place, so it is relatively simple to recognise the breached location. This mechanism does not exist for other breached record types. For example, should an individuals personal information be breached, how would you know which location, of the many that store your information, was breached?  A perfect example of this is spam. Where did the spammer get your e-mail address?  

What specific findings have been made relating to the cyber crime environment in the Asia Pacific? What unique situation and different trends do enterprises in this region face, compared to the US and Europe? Is the Asia Pacific better or worse off?

•    Asia Pacific is an interesting region in that we see different trends in different countries. Some countries have deployed Chip and PIN payment cards, so we see very little card present fraud in those countries, in other countries, we see a lot of card skimming occurring. From an external sources point of view, the Asia Pacific region sees a lot of scripted, botnet and staging point attacks. The attacks tend to be less complex than those from Eastern Europe, but they still yield a great number of records. Australia, in particular, sees a fair proportion of attacks from Japan due to the good connectivity between the two countries. The big rise in data breaches in Asia Pacific is from employees who have been terminated and who steal information before they leave the organisation.

What do the latest research findings say about the attitude of major enterprises towards being PCI-compliant? Why is it that 81 per cent of affected organisations subject to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) had been found non-compliant prior to being breached?


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