Perimeter
Guest Blog // Selected Security Content Provided By Sophos
What's This?
4/25/2011
03:01 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Security Insights
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Lone Star State Learns Valuable DLP Lesson

The state of Texas has spent nearly $2 million responding to a major data leakage incident. Wouldn't it be cheaper to simply protect our data?

The state of Texas announced it has already spent roughly $1.9 million following the exposure of more than 3.5 million people's Social Security numbers, addresses, and other personal details.

More specifically, it has spent $1.2 million on notifying victims, $400,000 on setting up a call center, and $300,000 on hiring security professionals to investigate. This could be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the total cost of this incident.

Fortunately for the victims, the state has decided to provide credit monitoring, Social Security number protection, and identity theft insurance.

In Ponemon's report, the "Fifth Annual U.S. Cost of a Data Breach Study," it was determined that the average cost per record lost in data breaches was approximately $204. That implies Texas is getting off easy, to date having spent less than $1 per affected person.

Organizations need to look at these incidents as wake-up calls. In this case, it is believed that none of the exposed data was ever accessed, and yet the costs continue to rise. Had the data actually been accessed by criminals, the costs could have been much higher.

The state's mistake has been repeated frequently throughout the business community. It assumed the data did not need to be encrypted because it would always be stored "inside the network," where it would be safe and secure.

Sensitive data is more mobile than ever and needs protection regardless of where you think it will be stored or contained. Consider the quantity of digital data you can carry in your pocket on a regular basis; this changes the game when it comes to protection of records.

Could you imagine losing 2 million paper records? It would require some serious effort to move that quantity of data -- and a claim of ignorance would not be a reasonable defense. While the efficiency and convenience of digital records have revolutionized the business environment, this comes with the responsibility of controlling that information flow.

I hope this incident alerts IT professionals that full-disk encryption for laptops is simply not enough when looking to protect personally identifiable information (PII). If you handle sensitive information, then you should be taking steps to protect it, regardless of where it is stored or intended to be stored.

Chester Wisniewski is a senior security adviser at Sophos Canada.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Considering how prevalent third-party attacks are, we need to ask hard questions about how partners and suppliers are safeguarding systems and data.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3409
Published: 2014-10-25
The Ethernet Connectivity Fault Management (CFM) handling feature in Cisco IOS 12.2(33)SRE9a and earlier and IOS XE 3.13S and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) via malformed CFM packets, aka Bug ID CSCuq93406.

CVE-2014-4620
Published: 2014-10-25
The EMC NetWorker Module for MEDITECH (aka NMMEDI) 3.0 build 87 through 90, when EMC RecoverPoint and Plink are used, stores cleartext RecoverPoint Appliance credentials in nsrmedisv.raw log files, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading these files.

CVE-2014-4623
Published: 2014-10-25
EMC Avamar 6.0.x, 6.1.x, and 7.0.x in Avamar Data Store (ADS) GEN4(S) and Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE), when Password Hardening before 2.0.0.4 is enabled, uses UNIX DES crypt for password hashing, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to obtain cleartext passwords via a brute-force a...

CVE-2014-4624
Published: 2014-10-25
EMC Avamar Data Store (ADS) and Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE) 6.x and 7.0.x through 7.0.2-43 do not require authentication for Java API calls, which allows remote attackers to discover grid MCUser and GSAN passwords via a crafted call.

CVE-2014-6151
Published: 2014-10-25
CRLF injection vulnerability in IBM Tivoli Integrated Portal (TIP) 2.2.x allows remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary HTTP headers and conduct HTTP response splitting attacks via unspecified vectors.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.