In the absence of the FFIEC's new guidance, industry experts say banks need to act now to help mitigate online risks associated with commercial accounts. "You can be sure the attacks won't abate until banks fight back," says Gartner's Avivah Litan.
A review of the month's top stories by Managing Editor Tracy Kitten: A well-crafted e-mail tricked an RSA employee into opening a phishy e-mail that launched a sophisticated attack on the company's information systems, and the list of big-name corporations and brands affected by the Epsilon e-mail breach tops 100.
Sony Corp.'s announcement that hackers may have accessed data on 77 million gamers follows a long line of recent breaches. And Neal O'Farrell of the Identity Theft Council says the string of incidents has led to consumer 'breach fatigue.'
Gigi Hyland of the NCUA says the latest draft of online authentication guidance is awaiting final signoff from just one FFIEC member agency. And Verizon's new data breach report finds that compromised records resulting from data breaches dropped dramatically in 2010, but the number of breaches continues to grow.
While the cause of the Epsilon e-mail breach has not been publicly disclosed, the incident's aftermath has seen a growing list of organizations impacted by the breach. It also has ignited a new debate about the sensitivity of e-mail addresses.
As details about the Epsilon e-mail breach unfold, the list of affected companies grows, including major banks and merchants. Here is the latest list of the companies known to have been impacted by the incident.
Experts say banks and retailers are doing all they can to control concerns in the aftermath of the Epsilon e-mail breach, and a well-crafted e-mail fooled an RSA employee into opening a phish that led to a sophisticated attack on the company's information systems.
When it comes to e-marketing and the reliance on third parties such as Epsilon, Nicolas Christin of Carnegie Mellon University says banks and merchants should "come clean" about the information they share with outside entities.
Communicating with customers about the incident and warning them not to click links in phishing e-mails are all these impacted institutions and companies really can do, says Jeremiah Grossman, chief technology officer of WhiteHat Security.
Privacy Attorney Lisa Sotto says the Epsilon e-mail breach is a warning about the state of data security employed by some third-party service providers. Strong contracts related to security practices must be the norm, not the exception.
"It is the biggest breach we have ever seen; and to say no financial information has been stolen is, well, understating the massive breach and concern," says Neil Schwartzman, founder and chief security specialist at CASL Consulting.
NACHA has posted an alert about a targeted phishing scam that appears to be hitting recipients up for ACH transaction details. Reports of phishing e-mails appearing to be from the Internal Revenue Service have also cropped up this week.