The Legacy Of The Sony Pictures Entertainment Breach

The disclosures by Edward Snowden in 2013 drove a flurry of activity in many companies, much of which centered on keeping confidential information out of the hands of dirty contractors.

Much of enterprise risk management seems, to me at least, to follow the TSA playbook: consider the threat after it manifests itself somewhere, then become fixated on it.

Which leads me to wonder how the Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) attack will be ingested by ERM processes at large. Certainly, the threat of losing intellectual property has been a central fixture for many years, but I suspect this will add a new dimension. Information security threats, I suspect, are about to go from being a bothersome potential for lost IP to an existential threat.

The concept of a focused and competent attacker bent on dismantling and destroying the company likely hasn’t been considered very often, but that may now change which will yield some interesting implications on IT generally. We certainly don’t have all the details about what happened to SPE yet, but it seems highly likely that common tactics were used, which we know from many other venues are very hard to defend against, particularly in large and complex IT environments.

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