mailing list archives
Re: Fwd: Rate Stratfor's Incident Response
From: Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu
Date: Sat, 07 Jan 2012 20:42:02 -0500
On Sun, 08 Jan 2012 01:37:21 +0100, Ferenc Kovacs said:
imo public shaming(ie. owned by kiddies, usually they get bigger media
attention) can force companies to take security more seriously, but imo
hiring the kiddies isn't the solution.
It matters a lot less than you think. Go look at Sony's stock price while they
were having their security issues - it was already sliding *before* PSN got hacked,
but continued sliding at the *exact same rate* for several months, with no visible
added dip due to the multiple hacks they had. The hack at TJX didn't cripple that
company either. Cost them a bunch, but nothing they couldn't survive - most
companies that size already budget a lot more for unforseen events than the
hacks cost them.
able to secure your infrastructure, but the industry is rotten mostly
because it-sec isn't as high priority as it should be.
As high priority as the IT Sec people usually think it should be, or as high
priority as a cold hard-line analysis of business cost/benefts says it should
be? IT people tend to be *really* bad at estimating actual bottom-line
it is an added-value, usually bolted-on top of the screwed up legacy
processes/softwares, and the higher-ups expect it to be bought by money
Remember that at the C level, *everything* is bought by money alone.
An initiative will cost $X in capex, $Y in manpower costs, and is predicted
to return $Z per year. If Z is bigger than X+Y, we proceed, if not, we don't.
(Of course, the fun is in nailing X Y and Z down to accurate numbers :)
company, but they won't change the flawed processes, and the bad priorities.
Remember that computer security is almost always a cost center, not a profit
center, and one of those "bad priorities" is usually "make more money".
They aren't going to change the flawed process (which will cost money), unless
you can demonstrate how that will impact the bottom line. Just like I *could*
replace my already-paid-off car that gets 27 miles to the gallon with one that
gets 42, and save $50 month in gas- but then have a $250/month car payment to
make. That doesn't make fiscal sense, and often neither does fixing the flawed
of course many of them will get owned, lose a good chunk of money, some of
them even will go out of business, but until most of them can get away with
those broken model, they won't try to fix the underlying problem.
And you know what? *Every single decision* a business makes is like that.
You run a restaraunt, and make a bet that you can sell a fajita that's 20%
bigger than your competitor, for 50 cents less,and still make money. Maybe
you're right, and you end up expanding into a nationide fajita chain. Maybe
you're not - something like 50% of restaraunts fold in under 3 years.
You manage an office building complex, and make a bet that if there's a fire,
only one of the buildings will burn down and not all of them, so you don't
insure for "everything burning down" because that's a *lot* higher premium per
year and you don't really see them *all* burning as being likely. If one burns
down, you collect the insurance, rebuild, and get on with running an office
complex. If they all burn down, you're probably screwed. Unless you're one
lucky guy like Larry Silverstein, and they're ruled separate events at the WTC
so you get paid for all the buildings anyhow:
You run a company, and make a bet that there's only a X% chance of being
hacked, and it will probably cost you $Y, so you spend $Z. Maybe you guess
wrong, like Sony did, maybe you don't, and all the money you didn't spend on
security becomes profit, not cost.
But it's the same thing - you estimate your chances, and place your bet. It's
called the way business works.
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