While working as a security consultant, every MDAC attack, every cross-site scripting attack, every SQL injection attack, every custom application vulnerability that was exploited, was treated with such zeal that it made me think the companies that we assessed should be eternally grateful to us for having found those vulnerabilities and saved them millions and millions of dollars.
Now that I'm on the other side of the fence, I see why they didn't care so much. The companies don't care. Okay, so there is a SQL injection. a few dozen SQL injections. what does it mean to me the CFO or me the CEO ? the loss of a few card numbers ? we already are monitoring fraud losses - and have money set aside too. Can this be translated into a mass compromise of card data ? Hmm - now, you probably caught my attention. Loss of reputation - temporary. But try convincing me this could mean something critical to the bottom line - that is downright hilarious. Because the truth is - Wall St doesn't care about a company being hacked. Don't believe me ? Check out TJX. 46 million card numbers. Biggest ever breach so far. The current stock price ? An all-time high right now.
The same with AT&T. 19000 Card numbers stolen.
Choicepoint shareholders punished the company for a while - and then forgave and forgot.
So what does this mean for you and me ? Should we just ignore the fact that our personal data can be compromised and sold on the internet because the loss of our information is something 'they' have already accounted for ? Thats brutal. A weak glimmer of hope could be PCI. PCI SSC has been making an effort to fix this scenario - and we could begin to see changes. But these standards are currently so vague and can be interpreted in so many different ways - it is pathetic. Unless there are strict regulations (FFIEC/FDIC begin requiring Application Security integrated into the SDLC of a company and quarterly validation by different independent 3rd parties would be nice :) )and stricter enforcement - with real hefty fines - Wall St. may just continue to look the other way ..and we all know that Wall St is what matters.