In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Smackdown Time On Data Breaches
2. Today's Top Story
- To Keep Consumer Trust, Try Tokens And Smart Cards
- Related Stories:
- ID Fraud Losses Drop By $6.4 Billion
- Feds Get Straight D's For Information Security
- Open Source Projects Team On Identity Management Milestone
3. Breaking News
- As Hiring Soars In India, Good Managers Are Hard To Find
- Microsoft Word-OpenOffice Translator Hits The Launchpad
- Mystery Deepens As Coast Guard Ends Search For Microsoft's Jim Gray
- Dell Hit With Shareholder Lawsuit
- Apple Patents Point To iPhone Lockdown
- Digg Dims List Of Leading Lights To Curtail Corruption
- Feds Divided On Protecting Patient Data
- The Big Super Bowl Online Bet: Will You Be Paid If You Win?
- Siemens In Crosshairs Of U.S. Justice Department
- Opening Up: Banks Expand Customer Reach With Online Account Opening
- The NYSE Focuses On Improving Data Integrity
- 2007 Claims Opportunities: Predictive Analytics To The Rescue
4. In Depth: Vista Problems Multiply
- Bad Activation Keys Plague Windows Vista Family Discounts
- Windows Vista May Corrupt iPod Music Players, Apple Says
- Home Editions Of Windows Vista Won't Run On Mac Or Linux Virtual Machines
- Microsoft's OneCare Fails Vista AV Tests
5. Voice Of Authority
- How Long Does It Take To Catch A Computer Virus?
6. White Papers
- Stopping The Insider Threat With Network Access Control
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Distributed file systems are a cruel hoax." -- Zalman Stern, former ITC hacker deity
1. Editor's Note: Smackdown Time On Data Breaches
Is the tide beginning to turn on data security breaches? If so, IT can expect to catch the brunt of any backlash, at least internally, if not externally.
Consider the case of TJX's "incident," as the company is fond of calling it, announced Jan. 17. Up until now, consumer outrage and legislative posturing aside, the fallout from security breaches involving identity theft or the loss of customers' and employees' personal data has been minimal. A few days of bad press, a year of credit monitoring, a budget spike as security is bolstered, some cranky customers, and maybe, just maybe, a fine from Visa and MasterCard. But that was pretty much it, except for two high-profile explosions of market frustrations, which culminated in the public pillorying of the Veterans Affairs Department and data aggregator ChoicePoint (which was also the recipient of the FTC's largest fine ever -- $15 million.)
All in all, nothing to lose sleep over. But this most recent publicized data theft is different. It's different in terms of the scope, the criminal investigation, and, most importantly, the reactions from the public, partner, and political spheres. And none of this bodes well for future targets of data breaches.
It's one thing to blow off consumers, but it's a lot harder to ignore the very real legal and financial burdens imposed upon business partners of companies victimized by data breaches. The ripple effect from these incidents can be costly and wide, as the TJX saga is making very clear. Consequently, its business partners are starting to fight back. Those complaints are helping spur action from credit card issuers and at least the threat of action from lawmakers.
Which means the writing is on the wall for IT and the businesses it serves. So consider the TJX "incident" to be a screaming wake-up call: The world will no longer look the other way. Hopefully, this will scare some businesses straight. But if you are in IT, don't wait for the business side to come to its senses. There is a host of things you can do to get the ball rolling, to protect your career, your business, and your customers. You can find more evidence that the tide is turning, and some suggestions for where to start in terms of securing your defenses, by going to my blog entry for this commentary, where I also would welcome your tips, complaints, or suggestions on how best to combat this
issue and who should be held responsible when breaches happen.
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