University Sends Internal Student List To Student – Why Data Encryption Will Always Be Needed.

Eight thousand students and applicants to Duquesne University narrowly avoided becoming victims to a data breach.  Or, rather, they avoided becoming victims to personal information peddlers.  A file containing mostly students’ financial information was sent by mistake to a Duquesne student, who promptly reported the incident to university officials.  The information included Social Security numbers […] read more

Laptop Security As Part of Freshman Orientation?.

A new school year has started in the United States, and already there seems to be a deluge of laptop theft stories in the media.  A small number of them are covered in the national media, such as the laptop theft in Arizona that affected students in Iowa:  a former teaching assistant in Iowa had […] read more

TSA Requires Disk Encryption Following Several Losses.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has effectively ordered contractors to encrypt all data related to TSA activities.  Apparently, the tipping point was the recent loss of two laptops that carried the information of nearly four thousand Hazmat truckers.  This is not the first time the TSA has had issues with lost data: earlier this year […] read more

Is Disk Encryption Effective When A Trusted Employee Is Involved In The Crime?.

I’ve read today an article where Joseph Harris, a former manager of the San Jose Medical Group, was sentenced to 21 months in prison.  He also has to pay $145,154 in restitution and will be under supervision for three years after his release.  His crime?  Stealing computer equipment from the branch he was working at […] read more

Written Rules Are Worthless When It Comes To Ensuring Data Security.

While scanning the latest data security breach stories, I have noticed that a lot of them involve institutions of higher learning.  Most of them involve theft of digital devices, mostly laptops.  It’s only now that I’ve realized that a new school year has started just recently.  Most of these cases are trivial, if you will.  […] read more

Full Disk Encryption For the Really (Really) Bad Times?.

I have been following a story for the past couple of days regarding the political events in Burma (Myanmar, if you prefer).  More specifically, I’m following, or have attempted to follow an article that showed up in the Times where it was claimed that Burmese police and diplomats showed up at United Nations offices in […] read more

Data Security Is Even More Necessary Where HIPAA And Celebrities Meet.

Celebrities—be they rock stars or presidential candidates or that crazy guy in the corner screaming about the end of the earth—are ultimately people.  They will get sick, and that means that they will have to go to a hospital at some point.  Now, because there is a lot of sensitive and confidential patient data used […] read more

Pharmaceutical Company Back In The News Because Of Computer Security.

Pfizer is back in the news due to another security breach.  It’s the fourth time in four months.  I can almost imagine employees starting a pool to see if there’s a fifth event next month.  However, like the Gap incident a couple weeks ago, this particular incident is not due to Pfizer’s fault.  An outside […] read more

Connecticut State Employee Who Lost Laptop Is (Possibly) Identified: Mobile Data Security Revisited.

The Connecticut state employee who lost a laptop on the trip to Long Island, New York has been identified indirectly via police records.  The employee (I will not be in naming him here since the state will not confirm the identity; if you’re really desperate to have a name, Google it.), was a veteran worker […] read more

Do You Wipe Your Data Before Throwing Your Computer Out? Why Not Employ Hard Drive Encryption?.

Over the past couple of months I have read short pieces here and there on researchers buying used hard drives from secondhand sources and testing to see whether previous data can be extracted using sophisticated software and other data recovery methods.  The hard drives come from a variety of sources.  Usually they are bought in […] read more