Attacks/Breaches
3/9/2011
06:24 PM
Jake Widman
Jake Widman
Slideshows
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10 Massive Security Breaches

They make the news on a regular basis: incidents in which a company or government agency's security is breached, leading to a loss of information, personal records, or other data. There are many ways to measure the size or cost of a security breach. Some result in the loss of millions of data records, some affect millions of people, and some wind up costing the affected businesses a lot of money. Not to mention, the questions of you calculate the value of personal medical information vs. credit
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In February 2007, TJX, parent company of discount stores T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, disclosed that thieves had stolen information on possibly tens of millions of credit and debit cards. The company first thought its systems had been compromised for about eight months, but it turned out the vulnerability might have lasted for almost a year longer than that. The incident wound up costing TJX millions of dollars paid to the FTC, credit card companies, banks, and consumers. Oh, and 11 hackers were eventually arrested for the break-in.

Security breaches have only increased in scope and frequency in recent years, as more businesses store their data in digital files and thieves become increasingly sophisticated in how they gain access to those files. But sometimes the attacks aren't sophisticated at all -- sometimes they just occur because someone got careless with a physical object. That's old-school data theft, no hacking required.

See Also

Nasdaq Confirms Servers Breached

Online Dating Site Breached

Two Arrested For AT&T iPad Network Breach

Schwartz On Security: First, Know You've Been Breached

100,000 Credit Cards Compromised By Data Breach

Gawker Details Missteps Behind Security Breach

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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

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