Thursday, August 28, 2008

More data breaches so far than in all '07

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 (SF Chronicle)
article by; Brian Krebs, Washington Post

In a previous post titled "Where does all that stolen information come from?" I wrote that data breaches are on the rise. In spite of the federal regulations and state laws enacted over the last 5 years data breach is on a steep rise. And it should be no surprize that the reported cases of identity theft in all its many forms is also increasing.

According to the article, More data breaches so far than in all '07 "The Identity Theft Resource Center of San Diego found that 449 U.S. businesses, government agencies and universities have reported a loss or theft of consumer data this year. Last year, the center tallied 446 breaches involving 127 million consumer records. About 90 million of those records were attributed to a single retail chain, TJX, which operates T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores.

It is unclear how accurate a gauge these numbers are "Officials said they do not know whether there have been more breaches this year or there is better reporting of the incidents.

What is not in dispute is the inescapable fact that the frequency of these events has been increasing for the past several years.

Again, back to the article "So far this year, at least 22 million consumer records have been the
target of data breaches, according to the report. But resource center founder Linda Foley cautioned that the true number of records affected is probably far higher, noting that in 41 percent of the cases, the number of consumer records affected was not disclosed. What's more, Foley said, many businesses are not reporting data breaches or are not aware of them.
In addition, she said, a single breach report often involves data belonging to multiple businesses."

In order for me to make my case for lowering data value it is important to establish certain facts.
So far we have established that;

  • Every statistic and bit of information about us is in databases.
  • Wherever data is held there is a significant risk of loss or theft that can and often does result in identity theft.
  • There are over 10 million domestic victims of identity theft per year.
  • Identity theft complaints that relate to our credit card and banking accounts comprise only about 30% of all identity theft cases. The other 70% involves our Social Security, drivers license, medical, criminal, and other records.
  • In everything we do from seeking employment, loans, insurance, renting or buying a home, our very freedom, etc., our database information plays a huge role in determining the outcome. Often we are seen by others as a sum of our reports and records.
  • The incidents of data theft are increasing steadily each year, with no end in sight.

No comments: