So it’s time to review and update your network security and you’re preparing the budget. You’ve included the costs for hardware peripheral devices, advanced anti-malware solutions, maybe secure email encryption, etc. But what about a lawsuit – did you factor that into the bottom line?
In Michigan a few years ago, a secretary for the Union of American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) took some files home to work on. The files contained the personal information of 13 public employees, including their Social Security and driver’s license numbers and dates of birth. The secretary’s daughter helped herself to the information and went shopping at the employees’ expense. In a landmark case, the AFSCME was sued for failing to secure the data and forced to pay the group $275,000 in damages.
Over the years, the workplace has become a feeding ground for ID theft. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) puts out a weekly summary of all cases that are reported publicly in the US, including an eye-opening synopsis of how each of the breaches occurred. While most are the direct result of criminal intent, there are many situations where people unintentionally exposed proprietary and personal data simply by taking files and laptops home. So it’s not just the unauthorized electronic packets moving in and out of your network that can cost you business, keep an eye on what’s walking in and out of your office doors.
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