Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

3/15/2007
03:17 PM
50%
50%

Data Safety -- The Old Fashioned Way

We can all breathe easier. WellPoint, the country's largest managed care firm, has found its missing disk -- the unencrypted one that contains the personal information (including Social Security numbers and medical records) of 75,000 people. It had been lost in transit by UPS. But they found it. Don't you feel better?

We can all breathe easier. WellPoint, the country's largest managed care firm, has found its missing disk -- the unencrypted one that contains the personal information (including Social Security numbers and medical records) of 75,000 people. It had been lost in transit by UPS. But they found it. Don't you feel better?The idea that these companies still think it's OK to stick a CD with highly confidential information into an envelope and drop it off at their nearest UPS office (or hand it to the UPS guy), even after all the other examples of lost and stolen data that we've had over the past couple of years, has got to make you wonder: What were they thinking? I've got nothing against UPS, but how many packages get lost/torn/misrouted every year by package services?

And the icing on this particular cake is that the disk wasn't even encrypted. Thousands of Social Security numbers, and not even the most basic security protocols were followed. Heck, I have better security on my trusty USB flash drive (which contains my secondary e-mail app and a few personal documents). If I know the value of encryption, shouldn't the experts entrusted with our medical data have some kind of clue?

Actually, I should be fair to WellPoint's personnel. They didn't actually send the disk out via UPS. It was a third-party vendor, Health Data Management Solutions (which, according to its Web site, "prides itself on setting the standard for data management and analytic services"), that sent the disk out via UPS. It makes you wonder just what today's standard for data management is these days.

WellPoint has stated that Magellan Behavioral Health Services, the intended recipient of the disk, will now only transmit data through a secure network. That's certainly nice to know. These companies sound so up-to-date technologically that one can't help wondering if they will have to upgrade their systems first -- to Windows XP.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Manchester United Suffers Cyberattack
Dark Reading Staff 11/23/2020
As 'Anywhere Work' Evolves, Security Will Be Key Challenge
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/23/2020
Cloud Security Startup Lightspin Emerges From Stealth
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  11/24/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-20934
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-28
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel before 5.2.6. On NUMA systems, the Linux fair scheduler has a use-after-free in show_numa_stats() because NUMA fault statistics are inappropriately freed, aka CID-16d51a590a8c.
CVE-2020-29368
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-28
An issue was discovered in __split_huge_pmd in mm/huge_memory.c in the Linux kernel before 5.7.5. The copy-on-write implementation can grant unintended write access because of a race condition in a THP mapcount check, aka CID-c444eb564fb1.
CVE-2020-29369
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-28
An issue was discovered in mm/mmap.c in the Linux kernel before 5.7.11. There is a race condition between certain expand functions (expand_downwards and expand_upwards) and page-table free operations from an munmap call, aka CID-246c320a8cfe.
CVE-2020-29370
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-28
An issue was discovered in kmem_cache_alloc_bulk in mm/slub.c in the Linux kernel before 5.5.11. The slowpath lacks the required TID increment, aka CID-fd4d9c7d0c71.
CVE-2020-29371
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-28
An issue was discovered in romfs_dev_read in fs/romfs/storage.c in the Linux kernel before 5.8.4. Uninitialized memory leaks to userspace, aka CID-bcf85fcedfdd.