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Ponemon Institute is pleased to announce the release of Flipping the Economics of Attacks, sponsored by Palo Alto Networks. In this study, we look at the relationships between the time spent and compensation of today’s adversaries and how organizations can thwart attacks. As revealed in this research, while some attackers may be motivated by non-pecuniary reasons, such as those that are geopolitical or reputational, an average of 69 percent of respondents say they are in it for the money.



Welcome to my new blog. I look forward to providing interesting content from our latest research studies. Please stay tuned to some very thought provoking research!

eGov Initiative Not Without Risk to Citizen Data
November 19, 2009, 7:36 am

The eGovernment movement is a good thing, and maybe too long in coming given how many years businesses have been taking advantage of technology to provide convenience and a higher quality of service to their customers. Constituent services have been available online for years, certainly, but only recently has the effort to modernize government been policy.

Yet the push to digitalize federal agencies is not all photo ops and campaign sound bites. There’s risk involved, and unless that risk is acknowledged and addressed up front, the information that our government collects about its citizens – information we are often compelled to provide – may be in danger of compromise to negligence, malicious insiders, or cyber criminals.
That conclusion is not only one that any rational observer of data security and data privacy issues could have drawn through simple deduction, but it has been confirmed by a recent study the Ponemon Institute conducted.
Sponsored by CA, we talked to more than 200 senior IT professionals working for a variety of federal agencies to gauge their feelings and confidence related to the kinds of technologies being adopted by the feds and how data security might be affected. The results, as released in our Cyber Security Mega Trends study?
§ 79% of respondents see the rise in the use of collaboration tools as significantly increasing the storage of unstructured data sources that contain confidential or sensitive information that is not adequately protected or secured.
§ 71% of respondents believe that cyber terrorism is on the rise and this trend poses a very serious threat to the protection of proprietary systems as well as our nation’s critical infrastructure.
§ 63% see the mobility of the government workforce as contributing significantly to endpoint security risks as a result of a plethora of insecure mobile data-bearing devices that are susceptible to malware infections and botnet attacks.
§ 52% of respondents say that Web 2.0 applications such as social networking, social messaging, blogging and wikis contribute to the leakage of confidential or sensitive information as well as susceptibility to malware and botnet attacks.
It all adds up to an acknowledgement on the part of those individuals tasked with managing and protecting citizen data that there’s a great deal of risk involved in the digitization of federal processes. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t continue to make progress in dragging constituent services into the 21st Century, but what it does mean is that these eGov initiatives must be undertaken with proper consideration given to the security of sensitive personal information.
When we file our taxes, participate in a census, or register for one of the many benefits to which we may be entitled, we do so with the expectation that our public servants will give proper care and respect to the information entrusted to them.
Given the results of the Cyber Security Mega Trends study, we would all do well to question whether that trust is well placed.
The Goal is Credibility
August 31, 2009, 2:20 pm

I want to share an article with you that I think has a tremendous lesson for anyone in the business of building trust.  The article is from a recent edition of Foreign Policy (reprinted from Joint Force Quarterly), but don't let the source put you off.  Admiral Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, writes about what it takes to establish credibility and build trust.

Admiral Mullen's perspective is different from yours and mine, but there are nuggets here that are vital no matter what your business.


Archer-Ponemon Treaty for Data Governance
July 21, 2009, 4:10 pm

I’m still processing a lot of the information gathered, shared, and created during our 8th RIM Renaissance this past weekend in Minneapolis. One of our sessions focused on the creation of an information governance “treaty” that holds various organizational members to a high standard (consistent with our RIM principles). Please review the following draft document and let me know what you think.

Thank You, Friends of the Ponemon Institute!
July 20, 2009, 3:36 pm

A warm thank you to everyone who made this past weekend's RIM Renaissance a success.  The discussions were lively and productive, and I think we all came away just a little bit smarter as a result of the candor.  We do appreciate the enthusiasm that seems to pervade these events, and the willingness to put aside your valuable time to join with us on these annual occasions, as well as the ongoing conversations that take place throughout the year.

What We have here is, Failure to Communicate
July 14, 2009, 3:38 pm

Privacy pro: Do you ever feel like you are working overtime to meet overly ambitious expectations? Are you frustrated by your attempts to outline a plan for protecting sensitive personal information only to get the sense that you are talking to a brick wall?

CEO: Are you puzzled as to why the people your company has hired to address security and privacy concerns never seem to meet the objectives you have for them? Are you flummoxed by the fact that the investments you’ve made in data security aren’t helping to stem the tide of data loss? 

More Employees Ignoring Data Security Policies
June 10, 2009, 4:38 pm

Does it surprise you to learn that, according to our recent study, Trends in Insider Compliance with Data Security Policies: Employees Evade and Ignore Security, employee compliance with corporate data security policies is on the wane?

Why do you think this is?  I’m seeing a confluence of conditions that appear to be contributing to this challenge to data integrity: the development of new, mobile technologies that empower employees to do more while away from the office; a failure of organizations to keep pace with the ways technology is changing the dynamics of data security; and current economic conditions that are putting increased pressure on individuals to be more productive with fewer resources.

Dr. Ponemon's Blog
April 6, 2009, 5:02 pm

Welcome to my new blog. I look forward to sharing some of our thought provoking research. I also look forward to receiving your comments and questions. Stay tuned.

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