Data Security

The latest on data breaches and cybersecurity and data security by Adam K Levin.

A few days ago, a friend of mine received several letters dated June 24, 2011 from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, where he has kept brokerage accounts for himself and his children for many years. It began with the now familiar, “we care about you” phrase: “At Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, client satisfaction and information security are critical priorities.” Then it segues...
Last week I expressed my concern over efforts in Congress to delay, defang and ultimately defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. I called upon consumers to rebel against being treated as little more than pachyderm toe-jam and to send a clear message in 2012 to those in Congress who have been the spear carriers for business. My consternation over the...
There was a time, when the World Wide Web was young, that many entrepreneurs counted on the idea they could make money the old-fashioned way–by charging cyber-customers on a per-use basis, the same way they charged traditional brick-and-mortar patrons. Most print magazines, for example, felt they could make a seamless transition from paid print subscriptions to paid Internet subscriptions....
Well, two fascinating—and repellant—things happened in the last few days, which but for the broadest possible subject matter connection, would seem to be unrelated. On May 6, a group calling itself LulzSec hacked Fox Entertainment network computers and released personal information about people from the database of potential contestants for the popular Fox show “X Factor.” Five days later,...

Bin Phishin’?

Phishing
Last week, the President and Commander in Chief announced something many Americans had been anticipating (though less and less, as time passed) for nearly a decade. Osama bin Laden, the person responsible for the single largest murder of Americans in history had been found and summarily executed in a stunningly efficient covert operation carried out by the Navy Seals. Not...
The World Wide Web seems to be making the world less wide. Everyone is connected to everyone and everything else, and that is changing the way many things are done, particularly advertising and marketing. The past decade or so has seen a radical evolution in the way marketers define and reach their target markets. Gone are the days when...
In the 21st century, the data breach apology letter has established itself as a new literary art form. Countless CEOs from corporations big and small as well as elected officials have had to reach out to the public and offer mea culpas that both communicate how sorry they are that this serious breach happened, and ultimately that there is...
Spot Quiz: What does the word epsilon mean to you? It is the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet. As I recall, in its lowercase form, epsilon stands for elasticity, among economists. There might even be a fictional spy named Epsilon. I’ll bet that up until a few days ago you didn’t know that Epsilon was also the name of...
The database compromise club has a new member. Mazel Tov, Cord Blood Registry. You are the latest organization to fail in your responsibility to your clients by neglecting to provide even minimal security for their personal data. Your membership card is in the mail. Who is CBR? Before diving into the data leak, let’s learn a bit more about Cord Blood...
At first blush one might be cheered by the results of the newly released Javelin Strategy & Research 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report. The Good News Identity fraud incidents decreased in the United States by 28%. That’s three million less victims than reported in their findings in 2009. The total overall fraud amount dropped from $56 billion to $37 billion in 2010. The...