Did you know that the average cost of a data breach is $7.2 million dollars?

Or that the cost of each compromised record is $214, an increase of 7% over last year?

A data breach resulting in the loss or theft of protected personal data will have serious financial consequences on an organization – the least expensive breach reported in 2010 was $780,000 (and the most expensive one was over $35 million).  You can read more about the cost of data breaches in the Ponemon Institute’s 2010 U.S. Cost of Data Breach survey results.

Here are a few other key takeaways:

  • For the 5th year in a row, data breach costs have continued to rise
  • Lost business accounts for over 60% of data breach costs, the remaining amount is data breach detection, escalation, notification and response
  • Escalating data security threats and compliance pressures are driving rapid responses to data breaches, resulting in higher costs
  • Criminals now account for 31% of data breaches and they are significantly more expensive to contain and fix
  • Negligence remains the most common threat, and an increasingly expensive one

What is your organization doing to ensure the privacy and confidentially of your information, including when it’s sitting on your servers, being shared between systems and business partners, and shared between people?  And don’t spend all your time combating criminal threats…. Negligence now accounts for 41% of data breaches, you must safeguard against negligence too.

Go ahead, estimate the data breach risk to YOUR organization.  First, ballpark how many pieces of sensitive files and data are floating around your company today…. Then multiply that number by $214.  I’m sure you’ll agree that the ROI on the time, technology and resources spent to protect company data are well worth the investment and risk avoidance effort.

The WhatsUp Gold IT Management family is excited to announce an easy to use tool for reading, gathering and understanding traffic readings in real-time from a single interface with our free Interface Bandwidth tool. This application will allow you to specify a target device and connect via SNMP to return a list of available interfaces. Just select the interface that you want to monitor and quickly access two gauges, one for receive traffic and the other for transmit traffic. Features include:

  • Scan devices for interfaces and select up to eight to monitor for percent bandwidth usage (both transmitted and received data). Visualize traffic spikes and lulls.
  • View configurable polled intervals as analog graphic gauges, in chart format, or as a table.
  • Control the poll frequency, gauge thresholds, and the number of data points graphed at one time.
  • Edit the detected interface speed and to gain more meaningful results.
  • Use advanced filtering capabilities to locate interfaces.
  • Print and export polled data in PDF, HTML, and TXT formats.

Get the Interface Bandwidth tool today!

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Would you be surprised if I told you that nearly 40% of all data leaks within the past 3 years have happened between January 1st and April 15th?

According to the DataLoss Database there have been 2,402 data loss incidents reported between 2007 and 2010, and 916 of them happened during tax season.

Coincidence?  Maybe…

Tax season is upon us, and auditors are making the rounds.  So what are companies doing to prevent sensitive information from walking out the door?

Important questions companies should consider:

  • What kind of access is being granted to third parties, like auditors?
  • How are third parties handling and protecting your business-critical information?
  • What tax-related documents are being sent internally and externally – without a lock-and-key?

There is a critical need for visibility and security when handling sensitive documents either internally or with third-party providers – or with anyone else, for that matter.  Organizations must make it a priority to first identify the confidential information floating around its systems, people and between partners.  Then carefully consider where that data lives, who has access to it, and what policies should be implemented to ensure that it’s handled safely.

A recent study commissioned by IBM revealed that midsize companies have shifted from focusing on cost control and efficiencies to concentrating on growth initiatives as predictive technologies become more affordable and widely available.  The study also found that 2/3 of midsized companies have plans to adopt Cloud technologies, similar to an earlier poll of Ipswitch customers.

Other findings from this study indicated that IT budgets will increase over the next 12 to 18 months, with investments in wide range of priorities including analytics, cloud computing, collaboration, mobility, and customer relationship solutions.

What do think of this study – How does it compare to your 2011 plans?

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We’ve got some fresh stats and trends to share from data that we collected at the recent RSA Security Conference.  Many thanks to the “statistically significant” number of people that took the time to fill out our survey questionnaire.

Our survey results highlight some major security and compliance concerns for businesses – information security, visibility and policy enforcement remain a major problem in 2011.  Here are a few key data points:

  • 65% have no visibility into files and data leaving their organization
  • >80% use easily lost or stolen portable devices like USB drives and smartphones to move and backup confidential work files
  • >75% send classified documents as email attachments – including payroll, customer data and financial information
  • >25% percent have purposely used a personal email account (like yahoo or hotmail or gmail) instead of their work accounts as a way to hide their file transfer activity
  • 55 percent said their companies provide – but do not enforce – policies and tools around sharing sensitive information

The fact that so many companies admittedly lack visibility into the files and documents that are moving around and leaving their organization is pretty scary.  How can an organization protect information that they don’t know even exists?  Clearly, increased focus is needed to first identifying sensitive data and then protecting it – These critical information security components should be carefully baked into an organizations security, governance and compliance initiatives.

Lastly, I’d like to vent on the last data point for a minute.  Policy creation simply isn’t enough…. the enforcement of that policy is the critical step.  Writing down a policy but not enforcing it is just as risky as not having documented the policy in the first place. Creating the policy is a good start, but please please please don’t stop there.

WhatsUp Gold’s free Syslog Server provides you with a feature rich tool to help you manage your syslog needs, including enhanced export capabilities. View the messages in real-time or filter results data the way you need to see it. Take charge of your network by understanding the data your devices are giving you.

Would you like to:
  • Automatically collect both Syslog and Windows event logs across your network?
  • Store your log files for as long as you need (e.g. HIPAA mandates log data retention for 6 years)?
  • Prevent tampering with your archived log files?
  • Receive real-time alerts for key events (e.g. access and permission changes to files, folders, and objects containing employee or financial records, patient information and any other critical information).
  • Generate and automatically distribute compliance or security-centric reports to key stakeholders such as auditors, security personnel or upper management?

Get the Syslog Server today for free (or, if you answered yes to any of the above questions, consider checking out WhatsUp Event Log Management Suite)

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Ipswitch has launched a new version of our WS_FTP Server solution.  Customers can now deploy WS_FTP Server in a failover configuration.

WS_FTP Server can now be configured to support automatic, unattended failover, enabling your organization to easily achieve high availability for your file transfer processes.  Not only will you increase system uptime, reliability, and performance, but you will now be able to provide uninterrupted access to file transfer users – all critical for helping your company deliver exceptional business performance and meet service level agreements around availability.

Take a quick minute and watch  Ipswitch’s Jonathan Lampe share his thoughts on our new failover capability for WS_FTP Server: