Extra! Extra! 104 Security Breaches Hit the Front Pages This Year

Since January 1, at least 104 data incidents have been documented in the U.S., potentially affecting more than 56.2 million individuals. And that is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

How many breaches don’t make the front page because the victimized company wants to avoid embarrassing publicity? We will never know. What we do know is that security breaches are hardly new. What’s different is that now you are hearing about them.

Those breaches fall into a number of easily recognizable patterns:
  • Lost or stolen laptops, computers, or storage devices without password protection.
  • Unprotected backup tapes lost in transit because they were not sent either electronically or with a human escort.
  • Hackers breaking into systems.
  • Employees stealing information or allowing access to information.
  • Information bought by a fake business
  • Poor business practices — for example, sending postcards with Social Security numbers on them, or requiring students to place their names and Social Security numbers on rosters that are passed through classrooms.
  • Internal security failures, including the inability to track personal information through the entire entity’s system.
  • Viruses, Trojan horses, and computer security loopholes.
  • Information tossed into dumpsters

As the directors of the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center say, “Something has to change or we might as well give up the battle against identity theft now. Congress needs to take action — not at the expense of consumers, but in creating laws and assisting companies to better control their information. We have been given a loud wake-up call. Is anyone planning to pay attention to the true problem, or will companies be allowed to continue to disregard the importance of your future and your financial identity?”

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