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PCI Compliance Contributes To False Sense of Security

Dwayne Melançon
Chief Technology Officer

Tripwire, Inc., a leading provider of advanced threat, security and compliance solutions, has announced the combined results of a 2014 retail cybersecurity survey conducted by Dimensional and Atomic Research and sponsored by Tripwire. The survey evaluated the attitudes of 407 retail and financial services organizations in the U.S. and the U.K. on a variety of cybersecurity topics.

“It makes sense that PCI compliance improves cybersecurity confidence”

Despite industry data to the contrary, Tripwire’s retail cybersecurity survey indicates that organizations that rely on PCI compliance as the core of their information security program were twice as confident that they could detect rogue applications, such as those used to exfiltrate data. These respondents were also significantly more confident that they would be able to detect misconfigured or unauthorized network shares, which was a key attack vector exploited in the Target data breach.

Industry research indicates that most breaches go undiscovered for weeks, months or even longer. The 2014 Trustwave Global Security Report reveals that retail is the top target for cybercriminals, comprising 35 percent of the attacks studied. The report also states that the number of firms that detected their own breaches dropped from 37 percent in 2012 to 33 percent in 2013.

“Taken as a whole, these retail cybersecurity survey results indicate that most payment card processors need to engage in a standard of care discussion for their security programs,” said Dwayne Melançon, chief technology officer at Tripwire. “While most respondents feel confident about their security investments, it’s not clear whether they are questioning the basis of that confidence. Instead of investing in the development of a solid security business process, they are focused on basic security steps that, while necessary, do not sufficiently protect their organization from cyberattacks.”

Key survey findings for those who said PCI was “the backbone of their security program” include:

89 percent said they would be able to detect a breach within three days.
69 percent were “very confident” that they would be able to detect rogue applications.
64 percent were “very confident” that they would be able to detect unauthorized network shares.
“It makes sense that PCI compliance improves cybersecurity confidence,” said Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy for Tripwire. “Having a structured program in place that’s objectively measured by a third party is a definite improvement over more loosely defined programs that are evaluated only by internal personnel. Careful implementation of foundational security practices is a great way to begin building a security program. However, many organizations fail to realize that the goal of PCI compliance is the protection of cardholder data. It does not protect the rest of your business.”

Tripwire’s 2014 Retail Security Survey report:

About Tripwire
Tripwire is a leading provider of advanced threat, security and compliance solutions that enable enterprises, service providers and government agencies to confidently detect, prevent and respond to cybersecurity threats. Tripwire solutions are based on high-fidelity asset visibility and deep endpoint intelligence combined with business-context and enable security automation through enterprise integration. Tripwire’s portfolio of enterprise-class security solutions includes configuration and policy management, file integrity monitoring, vulnerability management and log intelligence.

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