Tuesday, July 01, 2008

How Safe is Your Data?

Wherever you work, whatever you do, if you think your data is secure, you need to read this story from the Washington Post. While we seem to be doing a better job of protecting our networks and our data from hackers, we need to do a better job of protecting data on laptops (lost or stolen) and digital storage media. If you lost your laptop, PDA, smartphone or usb drive today, is there anything that would prevent someone from accessing your files and your data?
Data Breach Reports Up 69 Percent in 2008
Businesses, governments and universities reported a record number of data breaches in the first half of this year, a 69 percent increase over the same period in 2007 driven by a spike in data thefts attributed to employees and contractors, according to an analysis by identity theft experts.

The San Diego-based Identity Theft Resource Center tracked 342 data breach reports from Jan. 1 to June 27. Nearly 37 percent of reports came from businesses -- an increase from almost 29 percent last year.

Data breach reports from health care providers (14.9 percent of the total) and banks (10 percent) continued to rise, while the share of breaches from educational institutions (21.3 percent of the total) government entities and the military (17 percent) declined for the third year in a row, the ITRC found.

Hacking was the least-cited cause of data breaches in the first six months of 2008 (11.7 percent of the total). Instead, lost or stolen laptops and other digital storage media remain the most frequently cited cause of data breaches, accounting for more than 20 percent of all reported cases, the ITRC found. The inadvertent posting of personal and financial data online prompted roughly 15 percent of the data breach disclosures.

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