"That just distracts from the issues the breach reveal," Schwarz said. "First things first, you need to issue a technical fix and patch the hole. That's the highest priority. The damage control comes later."

What's critical for investors to understand is how important that security story has become to some of the deepest pockets of the digital age.

"Security is as major a factor as any we consider in any investment we or any of our companies make," Alberto Yepez told me on the phone. He is managing director of Trident Capital, the San Francisco-based venture firm that has raised $1.9 billion across seven funds backing roughly 170 companies. "We do not make an investment until we do a full security analysis. And more often than not there are issues that have to be fixed."

Yepez can point to some serious reasons why he's obsessed with security. Starting back in 2008, Princeton, N.J.-based payments giant, Heartland Payment Systems ( HPY) lost track of roughly 130 million credit card identities. And in 2011 one of the premiere cryptographic organizations in the world, RSA, a unit of EMC ( EMC), had one of its core products compromised.

"Events of this scale are boardroom-level things that change the course of a business," he said.

What investors should learn to look for in the case of attacks, Schwarz and Yepez say, is companies that disclose quickly and are willing to cooperate with outsiders that find vulnerabilities, and -- most importantly -- show they are integrating security into their cultures.

"It is about including security in the development life cycle," Schwarz said, "and making that part of your default thinking process."

When I reminded Schwarz how rare the conversation is about the deep security issues looming in the information age -- the Army blaming Bradley Manning and not their own systems, for instance -- he sighed.

"The smallest investment in security in the early stages avoids of the expense of the catastrophic nightmare at the end of the project," he said.

"It is the obvious arithmetic of the stitch in time saves nine."
This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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