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Data Breaches coming to a computer near you…expect them

Posted by joellecostello on June 25, 2011

The NPR News blog recently posted:

Survey: Data Breaches Have Almost Become ‘A Statistical Certainty’

Well, that’s just great.

Unfortunately, we shouldn’t be surprised.  With the explosion of media, there are more and more ways for systems to be hacked and more and more people looking to hack.

A recent study reports that 90 percent (Ninety Percent!!!!) of the 583 U.S. companies surveyed last year report having been hacked.

Think about it…how many random porn or sales posts have popped up on your friends Facebook posts.  It’s become so commonplace that we just shrug and delete the post.

But enough about us little people, back to the companies:

The New York Times reports that 60 percent of the respondents said they identified the source of the attack and perhaps not surprisingly, 34 percent were traced back to China and 19 percent to Russia.

Here are a couple more highlights from the report (pdf):

— The cost of an attack can be significant: “When asked to consider cash outlays, internal labor, overhead, revenue losses and other expenses related to the security breach, 41 percent of respondents report that it was $500,000 or more”

— “As a result of these multiple breaches, more than one-third (34 percent) of respondents say they have low confidence in the ability of their organization’s IT infrastructure to prevent a network security breach.”

So what can you do?  As far as your information that’s stored on company servers, you might as well start praying to the patron saint of  the Internet (Al Gore).  But for your personal information that you do have control of…protect it, change your passwords often, don’t leave your laptop/smartphone on the table/bar/floor while your out in public — even if you’re sitting right there.  And back your stuff up! Get one of those fancy external hard drives and fill it up with your tax records, bank records, itunes catalog, family photos, whatever.  Or, you could post it all on the Cloud (but that’s really a server owned by a  — wait for it — a business!).

Save us Al!

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