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9/18/2006
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Data Protection: It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Data Protection: It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This
2. Today's Top Story
    - Apple Fixes 7 Flaws In Mac, Windows QuickTime
3. Breaking News
    - Skype Launches Mac Video-Calling Software
    - Microsoft Won't Enforce Patents On Web Services Spec
    - Microsoft Repatches Repatch, Issues Third Fix For IE Flaws
    - Text Messaging Helps Nab Fugitive
    - Sun, IBM Butt Heads On Tape Encryption
    - Microsoft Ready To Update Office 2007 Beta 2
    - Adobe Patches Flash
    - New iRobot Aims To Clean Home Workshops
    - Schwarzenegger Rival's Campaign Downloaded Audio
    - Cell Phone Security Spec On Its Way
4. Grab Bag: BMW Goes Green; TiVo Goes HD
    - BMW To Lease Hydrogen Cars In April (MSNBC)
    - TiVo Targets High-End Customers With $800 HD Box (MarketWatch)
5. In Depth: Customer Data: The Importance of Trust
    - Trust Matters To Cigna
    - Data Breaches Galore
    - The High Cost Of Data Loss
    - Data Sieves
6. Voice Of Authority: Online Storage's Bandwidth Constraints
7. White Papers: Financial Industry Data Centers
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson


1. Editor's Note: Data Protection: It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

Corporate America's efforts at data protection, in particular protecting sensitive personal information about customers, have in many cases failed miserably. There's a long and dubious list of data breaches, losses, thefts, and mishandlings over the past 20 months, with the total number of records containing sensitive personal information involved in security breaches now topping 93 million. Time and again, we've taken to task those companies that have failed in their duty to lock down an asset that's critical to them and even more critical to their customers.

It's a pleasure, therefore, to highlight, as part of this week's InformationWeek 500, a company that's doing all the right things to preserve and protect customer data. Cigna, the provider of employee health benefits services, is just the kind of company that should be vulnerable to data breaches, given the vast amounts of data on customers' employees that it manages. Couple that with the fact that customers increasingly demand such data be available over the Web, and the security challenges facing Cigna—and others in its business—are enormous.

Here's a synopsis of key steps Cigna has taken that have helped keep it off the list of customer data offenders:

  • Use of secure File Transfer Protocol when exchanging large files with business partners.

  • Use of secure e-mail and encryption on desktops and laptops. With its e-mail encryption, messages that senders designate as "secure" are sent through encrypted tunnels to a third-party system, and recipients must log on to that system to retrieve a message.

  • Use of the WinZip Windows compression tool for CD encryption plus the encryption of data sent to removable devices. Keys to decrypt data are stored on PCs and laptops into which USB devices plug.

  • Creation of an organizational model that places a premium on information protection and internal communication about data protection. Senior-level business managers agree to use their status in the company to bring security matters to the attention of top corporate executives. Cigna's approach shouldn't be surprising, given that it's had a chief information security officer since 1999, long before that concept was in vogue.

    A multilayered encryption approach alone would have saved many companies the pain of losing customer data. And while Cigna has proactively organized itself to maximize employees' awareness about data protection, offenders have often kept their heads in the sand, dragged their feet when it came to disclosing breaches, and offered pitiful explanations for why the breaches occurred.

    Cigna has set the bar high when it comes to protecting the vital data assets of its customers. Can your company live up to the Cigna standard? Please weigh in at my blog entry.

    Tom Smith
    tsmith@cmp.com
    www.informationweek.com


    2. Today's Top Story: Apple Security

    Apple Fixes 7 Flaws In Mac, Windows QuickTime
    The bugs could allow attackers to crash or stuff malicious code onto Windows or Mac OS X machines.


    3. Breaking News

    Skype Launches Mac Video-Calling Software
    Skype for Mac makes possible one-on-one video calls that can be viewed within the Skype window or a user's full computer screen.

    Microsoft Won't Enforce Patents On Web Services Spec
    The company's Open Specification Promise covers nearly three dozen Web services specifications that contain Microsoft-contributed technology. Microsoft says developers using the technology don't need to sign anything or even reference Microsoft.

    Microsoft Repatches Repatch, Issues Third Fix For IE Flaws
    "This update cycle has not been an example of our best work," admitted Tony Chor, group program manager for Internet Explorer, in an entry on the team's blog.

    Text Messaging Helps Nab Fugitive
    Law enforcement officials in New York and Pennsylvania couldn't communicate with their own radios as they closed in on a fugitive charged with killing a New York State trooper.

    Sun, IBM Butt Heads On Tape Encryption
    Sun Microsystems and IBM this week started delivering tape drives with built-in encryption technology, and both accused the other of offering proprietary technology.

    Microsoft Ready To Update Office 2007 Beta 2
    The update will include improved performance, better integration, improved collaboration tools, and "general fit and finish changes." Office 2007 is scheduled to be released late this year or in early 2007.

    Adobe Patches Flash
    Adobe tells users to update Flash Player immediately, to correct five critical bugs that can let attackers take control of a target computer.

    New iRobot Aims To Clean Home Workshops
    The Dirt Dog, the same size as the popular Roomba but with a bagless debris bin that's 40% larger, picks up small nails, dirt, sawdust, and other debris that's likely to accumulate under workbenches and in work zones.

    Schwarzenegger Rival's Campaign Downloaded Audio
    A campaign manager says staffers found the audio files on a public part of a state Web site after linking to it from an e-mailed press release from Schwarzenegger's own office.

    Cell Phone Security Spec On Its Way
    The Mobile Trusted Module spec is posted and available free of charge at the TCG Web site.

    All Our Latest News


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    4. Grab Bag: BMW Goes Green; TiVo Goes HD

    BMW To Lease Hydrogen Cars In April (MSNBC)
    Eager to put its stamp on cars with green credentials, BMW announced Tuesday that it will roll out the world's first hydrogen-burning car in serial production early next year. Dubbed the Hydrogen 7, the specially equipped 7-Series executive cars emit only water vapor when running on hydrogen. That means zero emissions of pollutants and carbon dioxide, a gas that many scientists tie to global warming.

    TiVo Targets High-End Customers With $800 HD Box (MarketWatch)
    TiVo started selling its long-awaited digital video recorder with high-definition capability Tuesday. The box lets users record up to 32 hours of programming in high definition or up to 300 hours on standard definition.


    5. In Depth: Customer Data: The Importance Of Trust

    Trust Matters To Cigna
    Benefits provider toes that fine line between providing access to health information and protecting sensitive data.

    Data Breaches Galore
    The definitive list of data losses: who lost the data, the outcome, and the staggering tally.

    The High Cost Of Data Loss
    Sensitive personal data has been misplaced, lost, printed on mailing labels, posted online, and just left around for anyone to see. The situation has become untenable. Here's the ugly truth about how it keeps happening, who's been affected, and what's being done about it.

    Data Sieves
    An interactive presentation on the high cost of data losses.


    6. Voice Of Authority: Online Storage's Bandwidth Constraints

    The Achilles' Heel Of Online Storage: Network Bandwidth
    Someday you'll be able to access all your files from any Internet-connected device. Just don't hold your breath. Despite the commoditization of digital storage, backing up and accessing files across the Internet remains difficult and unwieldy when it comes to large amounts of data.


    7. White Papers: Financial Industry Data Centers

    Keeping Your Cool In The Data Center: Consolidating And Virtualizing Your IT Infrastructure
    In the financial community, power and cooling issues compound existing challenges in the data center. This document addresses the specific needs of a financial data center and describes today's industry trends.


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