Revelations that Google's Gmail and Sony Pictures were both targeted by hackers highlights growing concerns about cybersecurity and the sophistication - and frequency - of attacks, as well as how to keep the public informed about such incidents.
What's the top threat on the minds of global IT leaders? Employee-owned mobile devices - or BYOD (bring your own device), as the trend is known. The struggle: Do mobile device benefits outweigh the organizational risks?
"Just securing the data is no longer enough," says Trevor Hughes, head of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. 'Privacy professionals, in addition, need to prepare for what happens when things go wrong."
The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade heard from Sony and Epsilon about breaches that adversely affected consumer information. Both companies support a national data security and breach notification law.
Lockheed Martin, the country's largest military contractor, is investigating the root of a "significant and tenacious" attack against its information network. Could this attack be linked to the RSA SecurID hack earlier this year?
Organizations looking to improve their privacy management in the event of a breach "have to continually plan and prepare," says Nationwide's Chief Privacy Officer Kirk Herath. That means putting into writing a comprehensive plan.
The same approach governments and businesses employ to protect individuals from the dangers of secondhand smoke could be applied to safeguard cyberspace, says Scott Charney, Microsoft's vice president of trustworthy computing, engineering excellence and environmental sustainability.
The recent Sony and Epsilon breaches sent a strong reminder that companies lack transparency and aren't prepared to respond to a breach once it occurs, says Kirk Herath, Chief Privacy Officer at Nationwide Insurance Companies.