Category Archives: Security

Near-hits

It seems that several (most of?) the large privacy breaches have something in common: something smaller happened earlier that people didn’t pay enough attention to.

“Marriott’s Starwood Missed Chance to Detect Huge Data Breach Years Earlier, Cybersecurity Specialists Say,” The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2018 (online).  There was a prior breach in 2015 that, some say, could have been investigated more thoroughly.

Might this happen in your business?  Say there’s a relatively minor breach, affecting a single client’s information.  Or a minor compliance issue.  You discover it and take action.  But does the breach itself indicate weaknesses in your system of controls that may have broader implications?  Do you change your training or other controls to reflect this experience, or the experience of others in your industry?

This brings to mind a common finding in accident investigations.  Something small happened that could/should have put you on notice.  But it was ignored or downplayed.

How does your organization deal with near-hits in the compliance or information governance space?  Is this part of oversight?  Or a part of effective knowledge management?

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Filed under Analytics, Collect, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Internal controls, IT, Knowledge Management, Management, Oversight, Privacy, Protect assets, Security, Third parties, Use

Coming up to speed

Marriott Says Starwood Data Breach Affects Up to 500 Million People,” The Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2018 (online).  Data breach potentially affecting passports and credit cards of as many as 500 million guests at Marriott’s Starwood properties, which were acquired in 2016.  They knew about this in September, but reflects a breach that may go back to 2014.

So, two years after an acquisition, the target’s information security practices blow up in the acquiror’s face.  What does that say about the acquiror’s duty to integrate the data practices and controls around information protection?

Does your M&A team think about information governance issues?  Is that an identified risk, with an identified (and owned) action plan?  Did the Board identify this as a risk?  What the value of this information considered part of the transaction value?  How was that reflected?

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Filed under Board, Compliance, Compliance Verification, Controls, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Internal controls, IT, Management, Oversight, Protect, Protect assets, Protect information assets, Risk Assessment, Risk assessment, Security, Value

Where’s Rosemary Woods?

“Trudeau Says Canadians Heard Khashoggi Tapes,” The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2018 A7. Canadian intelligence officials hear audio tapes related to killing.

One assumes that this is a tape of some conversation picked up by intelligence folks after the killing, and not a recording of the killing itself.  Unless someone wanted to have proof for the boss.  Perhaps intelligence agencies spy on other governments or phone calls.

Often, people think information governance is all about the written word.  But the spoken word is information, too, whether it is recorded or not.  It’s just a problem of proof.  Is someone listening or taping your conversation?  Would it matter?

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Filed under Access, Accuracy, Communications, Controls, Definition, Duty, Governance, Government, Information, Internal controls, Risk assessment, Security, Third parties

Indicted

A Tesla employee is indicted for creating fake documents to cover up a fake-payment scheme.  “Former Tesla Employee Is Indicted,” The Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2018 B5.

Companies have a lot of controls to prevent fraud by employees, and often these controls work.  Why are there more such controls to prevent financial fraud than to prevent violations of other company procedures, such as those related to document creation, retention, and storage?

One wonders whether, in the aggregate, companies lose more money through poor document management and control than they lose through financial fraud.  How would one conduct such a study?

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Filed under Accuracy, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Oversight, Protect assets, Records Management, Security, Third parties, Value, Vendors

More of your data for sale

“Wall Street Analysts Are Selling More Data,” The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2018 B11. Analysts are searching and make available a bunch of information on your information, including “social media sentiment … and geospatial mapping.”  Think of it as expanded research reports.

Well, they are in the business of reviewing data and offering opinions (for a price).  Is it much of a disintermediation for them to start selling the information directly?  I guess there’s money in it.  Or service.

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Filed under Access, Analytics, Collect, Controls, Corporation, Duty, Information, IT, Management, Operations, Ownership, Security, Third parties, Use, Use, Value

Technology controls

“Wells Fargo Technology Under Scrutiny,” The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2018 B11. Questions being raised about the technology the bank uses for cybersecurity and risk management.

Do you have the right technology to effectuate the controls you have placed around information?  Will your regulators agree?  If you are already on the regulator’s radar screen, will your controls measure up?

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Filed under Controls, Corporation, Duty, Governance, Internal controls, IT, Oversight, Protect, Protect assets, Risk assessment, Security, Technology

Chinese hacking alleged

“U.S. Charges Agents Of China Hacked Aviation Firms,” The Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2018 B4. Agents of the Chinese government indicted for trying to steal airline industry technology.

This is getting to be rather routine.  One part of this is the value of Information, and the importance of information security.  One part of this is Compliance, of course, as the US government is trying to protect the US information assets (although the company at issue probably had some responsibility for this as well, as well as their board of directors).  And, of course, Governance, as the US government is prosecuting.

We all know the business case for cyber-security.

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Filed under Access, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Government, Information, Interconnections, Internal controls, IT, Oversight, Protect assets, Security, Third parties