Data Loss Prevention - Essay Example

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It seems to be very common nowadays that various companies, universities, and governmental organizations collect personal information, with or without the individual's consent, and leave it lying around for the wrong people to get their hands on. This information includes a person's name, address, telephone number, occupation, and may include valuable information like his credit card number, account number, and salary, which can prove to be extremely dangerous, if fallen into some wrong hands.
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Data Loss Prevention
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Download file to see previous pages Although the number of incidents regarding personal data loss would normally be expected to decrease due to the huge amounts of both financial and social losses incurred, it is still on the rise. According to Mary Monahan, a senior analyst at Javelin Strategy & Research, a Pleasanton research organization, 312 security breaches occurred in 2006 in the United States, giving away 20 million records, while in 2007, 446 security breaches occurred resulting in the exposure of 128 million records. Just last month, a laptop containing the personal information regarding the 51,000 present and former employees of Agilent Technologies of Santa Clara, was stolen from a car of Stock & Options Solutions of San Jose. The latter organization has since then raised its security level. (Javelin, 2008)
Even though the number of security breaches grew by more than a hundred in the United States from 2006 to 2007, ironically, there was a slight decrease in the losses incurred due to these infiltrations. According to Mary Monahan, 8.4 million people suffered due to misuse of their personal information incurring losses totalling up to $51 million, while this figure fell to $45 million faced by 8.1 million people, in 2007. In order to avoid these frauds, various companies have adopted strict protective policies, and enhanced their security measures to a much higher level, but there are still a lot of organizations unconvinced of the significance of these security advancements. (Javelin, 2008)
Not only the United States, but also the United Kingdom is facing similar problems. The huge blunder committed by the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) resulting in the loss of two discs containing personal details of 25 million people has been a hot topic for the last few months, as several experts are considering it as the biggest data loss in history. Reports say that the CDs contained personal information including the names, residencies, dates of birth, and bank details of more than 7 million families acquiring child benefits. It has been disclosed that on the 18th of October, two encrypted CDs containing the preceding information were couriered unregistered by a junior officer at HMRC, to the National Audit Office (NAO), where they never arrived and have not been traced since then. Although no evidence has been found indicating that the CDs have fallen into the wrong hands, banks are still told to monitor all transactions looking for any suspicious activity. (McCue, 2007)
The governmental organizations had gone so easy on their security that this was the third major security breach within the last month. The previous ones include the theft of a laptop, containing information of bank customers, from the boot of an HMRC official; and the loss of two CDs during a courier hired by the HMRC, exposing the Identities of 15,000 Standard Life Insurance customers. (McCue, 2007)

Cost of Security Breach
In a survey of 9,000 people by the Ponemon Institute of United States, it was discovered that almost 12 percent of them had received warnings of data breach from at least one organization that they did business with. 20 percent of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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