02:53 PM

Enterprise Data Taken To The Cleaners -- Literally

Study of 100 U.K. dry cleaners finds more than 4,500 storage devices left in clothes in one year

A study of 100 dry cleaners across the U.K. reveals that more than 4,500 memory sticks and portable storage devices were left in the pockets of clothes sent to their stores last year.

The study, published today by security firm Credant Technologies, indicates the number of devices left in pockets actually decreased significantly from the year before, when the total at the same 100 dry cleaners was almost 9,000.

Credant theorizes this decline is likely to be a change in users' habits as opposed to a significant breakthrough in vigilance over data security. In fact, the security vendors suggests that users are now downloading information onto smartphones and netbooks, which have boomed in popularity in the past year. And netbooks are much more difficult to get into your pocket than USB devices. "Although this study shows a positive drop in the number of lost memory sticks, we would urge users to take more care than ever not to download unprotected customer details and other sensitive information that, if lost, could lead to a security breach, especially now that there are harsh fines afoot," says Sean Glynn, vice president and chief marketing officer at Credant Technologies.

In a previous study, Credant found that passengers in London and New York left behind more than 12,500 handheld devices -- such as laptops, iPods, and memory sticks -- in taxis during a six-month period. Credant uses the studies to underscore why data on portable devices should be encrypted. The dry-cleaning study also found that customers had left in their pockets wedding rings, lipstick, and one pair of false teeth.

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. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.