by Robert Siciliano

Putting An End to Data Breaches As We Know Them

Jan 22, 2011

The AP reports “WikiLeaks’ release of secret government communications should serve as a warning to the nation’s biggest companies: You’re next.”

According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse’s Chronology of Data Breaches, more than 500 million sensitive records have been breached in the past five years. The Chronology of Data breaches lists specific examples of incidents in which personal data is compromised, lost, or stolen: “employees losing laptop computers, hackers downloading credit card numbers and sensitive personal data accidentally exposed online.”

WikiLeaks has been quite the news topic and for good reason. Data breaches cost in many ways. One cost is of course in the form or dollars. But when it is military secrets breached, that can cost lives.

It shouldn’t be this way.

The talk show pundits buzz that with the release of thousands of additional secret government documents, it leads to the conclusion that there is no way to protect sensitive data. If the government can’t even prevent a Private in the Army from stealing confidential data, what hope is there?

Nearly all WikiLeaks articles conclude that you have to tradeoff security with productivity, implying that content becomes unusable with higher levels of security in place. In this Associated Press article ‘Companies beware: The next big leak could be yours’, Jordan Robinson of the Associated Press, states:

“But the more companies control information, the more difficult it is for employees to access documents they are authorized to view. That lowers productivity and increases costs in the form of the additional help from technicians.”

This is true for traditional content security measures but ignores significant advances made by security company Zafesoft, whose solution does not require a change in user behavior or complex technical support to maintain. Companies that do a little research will find there is a way to protect their valuable information without compromising productivity and at a reasonable cost.

Robert Siciliano is a Personal Security and Identity Theft Expert. See him discussing another databreach on Good Morning America.(Disclosures)