The top risk cyberattackers face is the risk of getting caught. But executing an attack is typically a labor-intensive process. Attackers also worry that the access they’ve worked so hard to establish might suddenly get cut off if a password gets changed or an account they’re using is retired or removed from the domain.
The epic and exponential rise in cybercrime is a subject of near-daily discussion in the national and local news. Whether it’s from ransomware, identity theft, digital corporate espionage, information warfare, compromised election systems or hacked critical infrastructures—increasingly all of our information systems are under attack. While the media is quick to report on the “what” of each data breach (for example, company X was hacked so change your password to that account), they rarely delve into the why and the how. How are these attacks taking place, and why are they growing at a pace so much quicker than all other forms of criminal activity? Without understanding the “why and how” of cybercrime, we are doomed to fail in our battle against cyberattacks.
My phone’s been ringing this morning from people wanting to talk about the massive Marriott breach — the revelation that private data associated with up to 500 million people may have been compromised. I’m sure there’s a lot more to learn from the details, but in the meantime, I’ll take a quick minute to jot down some initial thoughts:
In 2004, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) became a fact of life for organizations that accept payment via credit or debit cards. In that year, the leading card issuers rolled out the first iteration of its security standard, designed to improve protection of payment systems as credit card data became a prime target for cyberattackers. Today, even as organizations have entire teams dedicated to PCI compliance, one consumer business after another—including Macy’s, Adidas, Panera Bread and Chili’s—have been breached, resulting in exposure of cardholder data.
Moody's Cyber Risk Group: “Cyber becomes more and more important.”
On November 12, Moody’s announced its intent to start incorporating in its credit rating method the degree to which an organization faces risk of major impact from a cyberattack. This follows the news, back in February 2018, that the Securities and Exchange Commission issued additional guidance on its requirement that public companies must “inform investors about material cybersecurity risks and incidents,” even if they have not yet been the target of a cyberattack.
More than $2.5 trillion in mergers were announced in the first half of 2018—a new record. Ranked by value of the deal, energy and power deals led, followed by media and entertainment, with healthcare and industrials close behind. Industries are converging and organizations are using acquisitions, divestitures, and other forms of asset remix to reposition their businesses. For example, there are numerous mergers among pharmaceutical, life sciences, and biotech companies as they seek to gain traction in a highly fragmented market. EY predicts that the total value of life sciences M&A will surpass $200 billion in 2018. According to Deloitte, technology acquisition is the primary driver of M&A pursuits, ahead of expanding customer bases in existing markets, and adding products or services.