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Standards compliance does not equal sound information security risk management
This article is part of the Information Security magazine issue of November 2009
The question "how much is enough" in regard to security spending has been explored by many researchers. Industry seems to have answered the question simply as "spend just enough to pass the next regulatory examination." Regulatory security standards are intended to provide a generalized baseline for information protection and organizations are failing to recognize their own security requirements do not directly map to any single standard or set of standards. In fact, the very elements within an organization that do not overlap with a standard may present the most challenging risks. Unfortunately, it appears many institutions have settled on the misguided notion that compliance and security are essentially synonymous and as a result have significant unmitigated risks. Simply stated, the checklist security audit approach is easy to understand and budget for, but the result is inadequate security. The Heartland Payment Systems breach demonstrated how an emphasis on compliance may not be reasonable as the company was damaged by a ...
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Features in this issue
Spam, phishing and infected attachments continue to plague messaging platforms, despite sophisticated protection. What's the answer?
Rapid7's acquisition of the Metasploit Project takes down one of the few remaining open source security projects. But expect a smooth transition; there have been many success stories and mistakes made to learn from.
Enterprises can no longer differentiate between insiders and external threats. That's such a 2003 paradigm.
Unmanaged changes to IT systems and networks can recklessly increase risk to enterprises. The key is rolling out an accepted change management process, and sticking to it.
Columns in this issue
Security experts Bruce Schneier and Marcus Ranum debate the longterm viability of antivirus software.
The checklist approach to security is easy, but the result is poor security.