Report says 189 Data Security Breaches in 2012 – So Far
You would think in this day and age, with all the data security technology that’s available, that your personal and confidential information should be as secure as the gold in Ft. Knox. Apparently that’s not the case, however, at least according to this slideshow from Network World.
According to the slideshow, which draws its information from the Identity Theft Resource Center, there have been 189 security breaches of confidential information so far in 2012. And the year is only half over. Those incidents have exposed roughly 13.73 million records.
Now, you could say that 13.73 million records is a drop in the ocean compared to all the records that are out there, and you would be correct. Yet if yours was one of the 13.73 million records exposed it’s likely you wouldn’t be quite so philosophical. Having your confidential information fall into the wrong hands can be personally and/or financially devastating; it can also be time-consuming if something happens and you have to sort it out.
In addition to providing the overall information the slideshow also gives some stats on the top 15 incidents so far. While you might assume they were all the result of computer hackers that’s actually not true. Other sources of exposed data include a contractor gaining unauthorized access to the wrong part of a network, storage devices being stolen while in-transit to somewhere that would presumably make them more secure, stolen laptops and a package containing microfiche getting opened accidentally while in the mail system.
One thing I found particularly interesting is many of these data breaches involved government entities – state and local governments or schools/universities. Given what the government knows about you it’s definitely more than a bit worrisome.
What’s scary is this is a problem that may get worse before it gets better. This blog post from Tech Image client SHARE.org talks about the growing popularity of “bring your own device” (BYOD) in the enterprise. These security breaches are occurring with company-issued (and controlled) systems. The risks multiply when users are using their own devices to tap into company resources unless IT is prepared to put additional safeguards in place.
Yet given the reductions in IT staffing these days, they simply may not have the manpower to keep up. Many organizations might be wise to consider a move to cloud-based managed security services instead.
The bottom line is security concerns are still among us. Every organization should be evaluating its policies and procedures regularly to ensure they are maintaining the best possible protection. Otherwise they risk ending up in the next Network World slideshow.