Cyber-crime fighters profit in a ‘hacked economy’

Stan Alcorn Dec 9, 2014
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Cyber-crime fighters profit in a ‘hacked economy’

Stan Alcorn Dec 9, 2014
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More than two weeks have passed since hackers virtually paralyzed Sony Pictures and traumatized thousands of workers by dumping their personal information all over the Internet.

The data includes such sensitive information as Social Security numbers and salaries. Several of Sony’s unreleased films were leaked following the hack attack. Cleaning up the mess could cost Sony hundreds of millions. But, as is almost always the case,  Sony’s loss will be someone else’s gain. An entire industry has sprung up around cyber crime as individuals and companies try to protect information. 

Gartner research analyst Avivah Litan says the companies profiting now are those that can quickly detect and contain breaches, rather than prevent them. Entire industries are spending widely to protect themselves. Julie Conroy, research director for Aite Group’s retail banking group, says the hacking of tens of millions of credit cards from Target last year spurred the coming shift to the more-secure “chip.”

Sasha Romanosky, who researches the economics of data security, says insurance companies are the big winners. Premiums for “cyberinsurance” have risen from next to nothing five years ago to an estimated $2 billion this year.

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