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Guest Blog: Brian Gonzalez Hernandez, SAP

This Monday was the annual Talk-Like-a-Pirate-Day and while it is a celebration that I have always Cyber-piracyenjoyed, I thought today may be an important time to also speak on modern day piracy.

When we think of Pirates, we often think of the likes of Blackbeard or the French Corsairs who were authorized to attack ships belonging to nations at war with France. It might be interesting to note that this concept hasn’t changed much, except that the sea is now navigated with a keyboard or mobile device as opposed to a ship with sails. We’re talking Cyber-Pirates.

We are all constantly barraged with the news of giant cyber-breaches targeting retailers, service websites, financial institutions and government entities. The American Democratic National Committee was one such recent victim of cyber-criminals as were SnapChat, LinkedIn and Oracle to mention a few in 2016 (more about that here ).

The government of Canada has a specific initiative Get Cybersafe. In their recent remarks, the Canadian government noted that Canadian online sales in 2007 were estimated at $62.7 billion and, in 2007, 87% of Canadian businesses used the Internet.

Canada like many other nations is quickly embracing the cyber world and as in the case of all of these nations, the national economy is vastly diversifying and improving. The problem comes when we realize that this increased rate of cyber computing puts us all at increased risks in cyberspace.

What is the Economic Cost?

Recent estimates show that an average data breach incident can cost a company from $7 million to $150 million. The range is very broad due to an equally broad victim-target range, but whether in the lower end or higher end of the spectrum, we are still talking millions of dollars!

Retail giants report yearly losses in the hundred millions every year. Target reported an estimated $370 million dollar loss for 2013. Home Depot’s famous breach was estimated at costing them $161 million. With the start of the holiday season, we can all be assured that cyber pirates are out there ready to raid the retail market as transaction activities increase.

The Greater Impact?

With the amount of Personally Identifiable information that circulates the web, we need to be ever vigilant. Part of that includes protecting the trust we have from customers in a Business to Business environment (B2B). I remember hearing someone in college during a lecture say “B2B is great business but remember that behind every B is a C and C is for Consumer!”

The loss in breaches is not just whatever the pirates take for booty, it also includes the loss of trust and reputation. No business can afford to lose their reputation with the Consumer!

This is the True Cost! A loss that isn’t an easy recovery.

What can be done?


A layered approach to cyber-security and the ability to effectively monitor how your cyber-security strategy is working is the key to creating a protective and effective cyber-environment.

Using trusted brands that strive for innovation is another key. Large players in the SaaS field are investing time, effort and energy to stay to task. SAP for one is constantly developing new and innovated strategies to stay on top of the trends, tools and advances of the so called Cyber Pirates.

Our partnerships with companies such as Pathlock Corporation allows us to provide the most groundbreaking solutions to help companies govern cyber risk, manage regulatory change, and quantify the financial impact of risk with a true enterprise solution. Partnerships ensure that we are working with the most inventive and brilliant cyber professionals across the board. Pathlock’s risk and regulatory compliance solutions provide an enterprise-wide approach to cyber governance, managing regulatory change, and quantifying the impact of financial and operational risk. They have a unique ability to integrate with and correlate data across multiple business applications, coupled with powerful analytics aimed at business users, delivers enterprise visibility of risk exposure and regulatory compliance from a single platform.

At SAP we dedicate teams of experts and talent to develop the gold standards in Cyber-security. Once achieved we get right to work developing and innovating to raise the standard with. We bring to you solutions that work and we do this to protect the economies that we are all part of in this globalized market. (Learn about SAP’s track record of safeguarding businesses against the evolving IT threat landscape here)

So while “Arrg, me Monday is going swell!” was an acceptable response this Monday at the water-cooler, just know that at SAP we’re working on improving our Cyber-Pirate Accent, so to speak, so that we can talk the talk holding a strong defense in the face of the cyber security crisis for us and our customers on a daily basis! – @BrianSAPCanada

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments: [email protected]

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