Prevent Brand Injury With A Systems Security Check

This week’s speculation (and at this point it truly is only speculation) that Home Depot might be the target of a massive data breach is rocking the retail-confidence boat a bit.
When I heard the news, I chewed on the topic of whether data breaches influence consumer buying habits. Studies claim to say yes. And I think common sense backs that up. It all falls under the banner of brand integrity, and big black eyes like data hacks lead to bad publicity and brand injury.  It can be crippling for SMBs that already toe the line of profitability.
Retail and hospitality firms are the popular targets due to their sheer amount of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). But banks are right there too, as are insurance companies, healthcare providers and payers – the list goes on.
Any company should ask itself a simple question: What is the cost of brand injury versus the cost of server hardening and best-practice security compliance? If a company does $30 million yearly in sales, brand injury through a major data breach might easily impact sales by 2% or more in the first year. On the other hand, TxMQ can a company get started with scoping, scanning and even systems auditing for a fraction of that cost.
For a confidential and free consultation, contact company president Miles Roty: 716-636-0070 x228, [email protected].

What's Worse Than Being Robbed?

What would you say is worse than being hacked? My answer is “not knowing” who hacked you. Without having any idea of From where, By whom or Why, some companies have trouble even determining what was stolen when today’s pirates only copy the information and leave it in place. I have coined these types of attacks as “in-place attacks!” These are hacks where the target does not even know anything is missing so no security measures are taken after the fact.
For example, someone takes your wallet out of your jacket at a party. They copy your credit card and address from your driver’s license. They then return everything back to your coat pocket without you knowing that it was ever missing. Your account could be wiped out without you even knowing you were robbed.
In the case of Target being hacked, authorities are now still trying to figure out who hacked the large retailer. A 17 year old? The Russian mob? They have figured out the how. They know the why. They almost know the location from which it was done. But there are still many questions that remain. Was that the only intrusion? Are there other access points? Are they safe now? The fact that the Target stock price has yet to regain its strength demonstrates that consumers are wondering the same thing.
As embarrassing as this incident is for Target, it gives businesses today a “heads up.” How secure is your online commerce site? Do you truly have a grasp on your vulnerabilities? When was the last time you had a 3rd party assessment done, end to end?  Have you securely closed all of your “windows and doors” in your infrastructure? How long would it take you to know that you were a victim of an in-place attack?
At TxMQ we have specific skills on governance, security and eCommerce that will allow you to build a new system or “harden” an existing one. We also offer assessment services where we can help you identify current gaps.
What do you think?
TxMQ: Learn more!