Data Breaches: Reality Vs. Perception

In our ongoing saga of retail security "reality versus perception" discussions (Note: Always bet on perception. Reality is a nice guy who, in all fairness, is a loser), the question of whether data breaches are becoming less common keeps cropping up. The answer is straightforward: No, of course they're not becoming less common. But the explanation is more complicated, mostly involving the subtle distinction between the number of "data breach reports" declining and the number of actual data breaches declining.

And a lot of the issues involve retailers getting better at not reporting breaches along with cyberthieves getting better at hiding their tracks. To paraphrase an old movie title, what if we held a massive data breach but nobody ever discovered it? Would it statistically not count? We explore these issues in this week's Guest Column on the new McAfee security blog.