Richard Stiennon's blog makes a great point today. He says
"The entire IT security market is focused on protections. This is great as more and more protections by default are deployed. But I believe that enforcement actions must be taken as well. There is some sign that cooperation between enforcement agencies in the UK, Israel, and Russia have been effective. The most important was the breaking up of a ring of cyber-extortionists in 2003 that dramatically slowed the number of DDOS incidents.
As it will be a while before prosperity finds its way to every corner of the globe it is imperative that law enforcement agencies start working together to track down and jail cyber criminals now."
He is completely correct. Remember the risk equation: Risk = Threat x Vulnerability X Cost (of asset). We security practitioners (and our clients) can only really influence the vulnerability aspect of the equation. We can't usually decrease the value of an asset, either. Only those in law enforcement or the military can take direct action against threats. The only real way to eliminate risk is to eliminate the threat. No amount of countermeasures can remove all vulnerabilities and keep a determined adversary from exploiting a target. Making the threat go to zero is the only way to make risk go to zero.
Stiennon also points out a fascinating Privacy Rights Clearinghouse chronology of data breaches since the ChoicePoint incident.