Jun 22 2010

Symantec: SMBs Change Security Approach with Growing Threats

Category: BCP,MalwareDISC @ 1:50 am
Image representing Symantec as depicted in Cru...
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By: Brian Prince

A survey of small to midsize businesses from 28 different countries by Symantec found that companies are focusing more on information protection and backup and recovery. Driving these changes is a fear of losing data.

Today’s small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are facing a growing threat from cyber-attacks, and are changing their behavior to keep up.

In a May poll of 2,152 executives and IT decision makers at companies with between 10 and 499 employees, Symantec found SMBs are now spending two-thirds of their time dealing with things related to information protection, such as computer security, backup and archival tasks, and disaster preparedness. Eighty-seven percent said they have a disaster preparedness plan, but just 23 percent rate it as “pretty good” or “excellent.”

Driving the push for these plans, as well as the interest in backup and recovery, is the fear of losing data. Some 42 percent reported having lost confidential or proprietary information in the past, and all of those reported experiencing revenue loss or increased costs as a result. Almost two-thirds of the respondents said they lost devices such as smartphones, laptops or iPads in the past 12 months, and all the participants reported having devices that lacked password protection and could not be remotely wiped if lost or stolen.

In the past, SMBs would settle for having antivirus technology, said Bernard Laroche, senior director of product marketing at Symantec. Now, however, they are starting to realize the threat landscape is changing, he said.

“If you look at endpoint usage … in most SMBs that’s the only place where the information resides because people were not backing up … so if somebody would lose a laptop at the airport or somebody steals the laptop in the back of car or something, then your information is obviously at risk and that can bring a lot of financial impact to small business,” he said.

The survey also found SMBs are spending an average of about $51,000 on information protection. The financial damage for those who suffer cyber-attacks can be significant. Cyber-attacks cost an average of $188,242 annually, according to the survey. Seventy-three percent said they were victims of cyber-attacks in the past year, and 30 percent of those attacks were deemed “somewhat/extremely successful.” All of the attack victims suffered losses, such as downtime, theft of customer or employee information, or credit card data, Symantec reported.

“The concept of, ‘I’ve got an antivirus solution, I’m fully protected,’ I think those days are gone,” Laroche said.

Detail information on Symantec SMBs Suites:

Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 12.0

Symantec Protection Suite Small Business Edition 3.0

Tags: Backup, Business, Computer security, Credit card, Emergency Management, Small business, SMB, SMB suites, Symantec, Warfare and Conflict

Feb 18 2009

Economic turmoil and BCP

Category: BCP,Information SecurityDISC @ 6:42 pm

Due to economic insecurity all the warning signs are pointing that this year is going to top the record for information security and privacy incidents. Organizations may not be in a position to take business limiting risk and bypass security fundamental like Business Continuity Planning (BCP). During this economic uncertainty organizations have to pay more attention to liability, regulatory penalties and negative PR which might cause an irrecoverable damage to business in today’s market.

“BCP is the creation and validation of a practiced logistical plan for how organization will recover and restore partially or completely interrupted critical functions within a predetermine time after a disaster or extended disruption”

The first step in business continuity process is to consider the potential impact of each disaster or disruption. Next step is to determine the likelihood of the disruption or how likely this disruption will occur within a year and how many times. Both impact and likelihood will determine the risk to the organization critical asset in a sense if impact of the disruption is high the risk is high or if likelihood of the incident is high the risk is high. High risk disruption will attract more attention during planning process.

Risk Analysis:
• Understand the function of probabilities and risk reduction
• Identify potential risks to the organization
• Identify outside expertise required
• Identify vulnerabilities / threats / exposures
• Identify risk reduction / mitigation alternatives
• Identify credible information sources
• Interface with management to determine acceptable risk levels
• Document and present findings

BCP Plan:
• Understand clear objectives, available alternatives, their advantages, disadvantages, and cost ranges, including mitigation as a recovery strategy
• Identify viable recovery strategies with business functional areas
• Consolidate strategies
• Identify off-site storage requirements and alternative facilities
• Develop business unit consensus
• Present strategies to management to obtain commitment

Assessing the Effectiveness of a BCP Plan for an Individual Business Unit:
Business unit contingency planning was never more important than now. The success of BCP planning depends upon the feasibility and appropriateness of the plan. However, only comprehensive TESTING of the contingency plans could validate that and everyone hates testing. It is important that the Contingency Plan clearly identify those responsible for declaring a disaster and executing the plan. BS 25999-2:2007 is the specification for implementing, establishing, and improving a business continuity management system (BCMS) within an organization.

The requirements in the standard are generic and are intended to be applicable to all organizations, regardless of type, size and nature of business. The extent of application of these requirements depends on the organization’s operating environment and complexity. BS 25999-2 can be used by internal and external parties, including certification bodies, to assess an organization’s ability to meet its own business continuity needs, as well as any customer, legal or regulatory needs.

Purchase BS25999-2:2007 online today and prove business resilience to customers and partners.


BSI – What is Business Continuity Management?

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Tags: Business, Business continuity planning, Business Services, Contingency plan, Emergency Management, Fire and Security, Information Security, Risk management