This editorial was originally published on Oct 30, 2014. It is being republished as Steve is on vacation.
I am glad that I don't work in the retail industry as a DBA. It seems that I read about a new security breach every few weeks from some company. Home Depot, Target, Staples, the list goes on and on, and includes more and more businesses that at least some of us use regularly. It's gotten to the point where I expect that I'll need to replace at least one of my cards every year because of some data loss issue.
However it's not just retail companies that are getting attacked. According to the Q3 Dambella report, companies are having dozens of devices infected daily and seeing increasing numbers of point-of-sale (POS) attacks all the time. Even those companies that don't deal directly with credit cards and consumers are finding that they are targets of network attacks more and more. Some of these are merely vandalism, but many are intended as some sort of industrial espionage or data breach that can be used for profit.
This is the other edge of the data professional's sword. We have low unemployment and high salaries, but we are also becoming responsible and the target of blame when data is stolen. I really believe that theft detection is becoming more important for data professionals. We won't be able to prevent attacks, but we surely need to know when they have occurred and be prepared to respond.
I don't know how our profession will move forward in the future to meet these needs. Perhaps we'll become bonded like locksmiths. Perhaps we'll be bound by insurance requirements to adhere to best practices. I'm not sure any of that will help increase security, but it might help reduce the liability that we may face.