Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why Are YOUR Secrets onEBay?!

Jennifer L. Schenker in Paris wrote a short piece in Business Week titled "Are Your Secrets On eBay?" (Nov 3, 2008).

We have already written about some of this in both of our ID theft books but this is more confirmation of the on-going risk to people selling stuff that may have sensitive information (such as laptops, smart phones, "CrackBerry's", cell phones, and other devices that can store or manage data).

" Too many employees fail to erase or encrypt sensitive data on their mobile devices before tossing them out, say researchers from British phone company BT Group, the University of Glamorgan in Wales, and Edith Cowan University in Australia. To prove its point, the team recently purchased 161 discarded handheld devices from online auction sites and secondhand outlets in Britain and Australia."


"One in five, found the researchers, contained details about salaries, company finances, business plans, or board meetings. A BlackBerry once owned by the European sales director of a major Japanese firm, for instance, had the goods on company clients, as well as the executive’s bank account numbers—along with his car make and registration. “My generic advice to people is to delete your data, but the reality is not that simple,” says Andy Jones, BT’s head of information security research. “Someone inside corporations has to set policy and tell people exactly what they should do when they get rid of mobile devices.”

So the solution is obvious. We have been trying to convince companies, hospitals, and colleges to follow STRICT data killing techniques when they dispose of anything that can compromise confidential information. Thanks to the National Science foundation (NSF) and the Iowa State University Center for Information Protection (CIP) we are almost there with a robust national education and information security training model.

Please stay tuned and let us know if your and your company have an interest in this program.

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