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Data Theft by Partner Companies on the Rise

Trusted third parties responsible for almost half of all break-ins

3 min read

28 August 2008—If you’re the owner of a retail-store chain or a financial-services company, it is your responsibility to keep your customer’s credit card number or social security number safe. But how can you control what goes on outside your company’s doors? Your credit card machine’s vendor could overlook a software vulnerability. Or an employee at the call center handling your customer-service calls could turn sour on his employer.

Data breaches involving trusted third parties—business partners, vendors, suppliers, and contractors—are alarmingly on the rise, according to a recent investigation by the security team at Verizon Business. While studying about 500 incidents worldwide between 2004 and 2007, the RISK Team found that cases involving partner organizations, willing or unwitting, went up fivefold, reaching 44 percent in 2007. Hackers and other outsiders, meanwhile, were directly responsible for close to 80 percent of the breaches. (There was some overlap among the cases.)

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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