​​I was reading last week’s issue of The Economist ( Nov. 7-13, 2015) and came across a great article on cyber –security. It exclaimed that theaverage time between an attacker breaching a network and its owner noticing the intrusion is 205 days or 295,200 minutes!. Give or take a few minutes.​​

It speaks of an annual $ 575 billion cost to the Gross National Product of the 90 million cyber-attacks. While I appreciate that these numbers are at best guesstimates, there is certainly no doubt in the minds of Sony executives or those at Target Stores in the US that these attacks are real and that real dollars must in spend in correcting these breaches. Violated customers must be given free access to credit review agencies so that all accounts may be monitored in one place and systems must be checked for the source of the intrusion and then patched. At the technical level, privileged information is stolen, marketing strategies exposed and private customer records are made public.

American statistics may not be representative of conditions where you live, but they do provide an indication of the types of data being stolen.

​Sector ​Percentage of Attacks (%)
​Medical ​43
​Business ​32
​Government/Military ​12
​Education ​8
​Financial ​5

Medical breaches have experienced the fastest growth in the past three years. Government/Military, Education and Financial breaches have remained relatively stable. And as it commonly said by financial institutions, “Past results are not indicative of future performance.”

It would seem we are in a “wild west” period in the cyber security industry as well. A report by Bank of America suggests the market is now $ 75 billion and will grow to $ 170 billion by 2020 a 17.7% annual growth rate. Who says crime doesn’t pay? There are no standards for security providers. Anyone can hang up a shingle and call himself or herself a computer security expert. And the most sophisticated of security technology can be thwarted by individuals intent on wreaking havoc. Unfortunately, most of the solutions being offered are backward looking in the sense that they create defenses against known threats. The best technology doesn’t work if the humans who operate it are ill-trained or careless or both.

Let’s talk about your situation and what can be done to improve it. Your clients will appreciate your keeping them safe. Should you feel uncomfortable dealing with this issue or the need to audit your current security provider, Jolera will be most happy to help you confidentially assess your situation and provide guidance. Please don’t procrastinate. We want to help.

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