When French president Nicolas Sarkozy had his bank account hacked it seemed to serve as a metaphor for the crisis in the global system. In fact the incidents were spotted before the crisis, in September, and reports claim Mr Sarkozy only suffered small losses from the account used for his £195,000-a-year salary.
That said, the episode does highlight the need for extra vigilance in the banking community in the aftermath of the recent carnage. Broken banks don't just disappear overnight (although their reputations do) – they leave intact vast system architectures that still need protecting.
The urgency is felt more so as assets are transferred from one institution to another during bailout mechanisms. It's too early to say if a surge will occur but security and risk officers in the financial sector must be on their guard to defend against an upsurge in criminal activity from those seeking to take advantage of the disorder that currently prevails. They would do well also to remember that in the UK at least they have a new and unforgiving master – the taxpayer. It's all our money they're protecting.
Keeping up to speed with data protection laws and compliance rules is an increasingly important part of a CISOs role. Getting it wrong leads to bad decisions and bad decisions can damage your business as well as careers. Our guide to getting it right starts on page 30 – we recommend you read it and then pass round your department.
Attackers are increasingly using web-based applications and browser vulnerabilities. This is a fact and as businesses move to Web 2.0 and cloud based computing the threat will only increase – so what can you do about it? Our feature Hidden targets (page 34) outlines what some US businesses are doing to counteract the threat, safeguarding customers and employees. That's a good start. Have a safe month.