Although hacktivists announced suspension of DDoS attacks against banks, other industries are now getting hit, and banks can't afford to get complacent because of the fraud risk, says security specialist Bill Stewart.
"We felt that it was very important to come out with this and say this was how easy it is for them to break into any U.S. company, and here's how they're doing it," The New York Times' Nicole Perlroth says.
"Cyber represents as big a threat to this country as any significant threat," Chuck Hagel says at his confirmation hearing to be defense secretary. "It's insidious, a quiet kind of threat we haven't quite seen before. It can paralyze a nation in a second."
A quick glance at a new survey suggests that businesses care more about protecting the privacy of their customers than governments do about their citizens. That's what the numbers say. But the numbers don't necessarily tell the whole story.
Although a hacktivist group says it has suspended distributed-denial-of-service attacks on U.S. banking institutions, banking and security leaders aren't convinced. "Banks should certainly remain on guard," says Gartner's Avivah Litan.
A Montreal computer science student accessed, without authorization, an IT system to check if a software vulnerability he discovered had been remedied. This case raises the question: When, if ever, is such unauthorized action justified?
Using technology to prevent breaches is insufficient. Security leaders also must address the human factor, making sure staff members receive appropriate training on clear-cut policies - before it's too late.
Managing advanced persistent threats will be a priority throughout 2013, says RSA CISO Eddie Schwartz. How should organizations defend themselves against APTs and the year's other top security threats?
"We're going to have to find a way to address the interests of other states to ... find common ground," Secretary of State John Kerry says. "We're just going to have to dig into it a lot deeper. I don't have a magic silver bullet to throw at you here today."
Some critics feel the Obama administration is giving the Department of Homeland Security too much authority on leading cybersecurity initiatives. DHS's deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity explains why he thinks that view is wrong.
"This is a business that should have known better," U.K. Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith says. "There's no doubt in my mind that they had access to both the technical knowledge and the resources to keep this information safe."