Friday, August 28, 2009

Bernake was a victim of identity theft

This was too good to pass up. Thank you Reuters!

Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:30am EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke was among hundreds of victims of an identity fraud ring that stole more than $2.1 million from consumers and financial institutions across the United States, Newsweek magazine reported on its website.
The head of the U.S. central bank and his wife were swept up in a case against the ring after her purse, with personal checks inside, was snatched at a coffee shop in August 2008, Newsweek reported, citing recently filed court documents.
Someone soon began cashing checks on the Bernanke family bank account, a crime that became part of a wide-ranging federal identity theft investigation that was already underway.
The targets were members of a nationwide ring that used a combination of old-fashioned thievery and high-tech fraud to loot the bank accounts of unsuspecting victims, Newsweek reported.
The investigation by the Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service culminated in recent months with a series of arrests, criminal complaints and indictments brought by federal prosecutors in Virginia.
In a statement to Newsweek, Bernanke said identity theft is a serious crime that affects millions of Americans each year.
"Our family was but one of 500 separate instances traced to one crime ring," Bernanke said. "I am grateful for the law enforcement officers who patiently and diligently work to solve and prevent these financial crimes."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Employees, Especially Temps, Cause Breaches

The majority of data breaches result from inadvertent employee error, say experts. BBC News reports on the results of a study that found unintentional data loss to be the most frequent cause of cyber breaches (14.4 percent per year). IDC and the security firm RSA analyzed 11 categories of risk at 400 organizations in various industry sectors across the U.S., UK, France and Germany. Of the employee-caused breaches, they found 52 percent to be accidental and 19 percent deliberate. Temporary employees, the study found, are more likely to be culpable. "It's likely contractors may be less well-trained in organizational policy..." said RSA's Chris Young.
Read the full story here
Full Story

This survey, one of dozens within the past two years, illustrates my point about employee training as perhaps the most critical aspect of any good breach plan. That 52% of accidental breaches can be greatly diminished by showing employees what is expected of them and seeking their help in improving data security throughout the enterprise. A clear written policy that not only delineates the information that is to be protected, but also provides guidelines for staff and names those who are administering the program is essential in our modern business world. As long as personal identifiable information has value it will be used and sold by illegal profiteers around the world.