Record Number of Data Breaches in 2007
Happy new year! Let me be the first of your Redmond Report newsletter writers
to welcome you to 2008.
Folks invariably tend to look forward and backward at this time of year. One
grim look back involves data security breaches. Apparently, 2007
was a record year for data breach incidences. (I can practically hear the
execs at TJX groaning
from here -- their office is actually about 10 minutes from what most of the
Redmond magazine editors call home.)
There are two groups actively tracking data-theft reports: the San Diego-based
Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and a Web-based group called Attrition.org.
The ITRC states that more than 79 million personal records were reported compromised
last year (that's just in the U.S., by the way). That figure is four times greater
than the nearly 20 million records the ITRC reported stolen in 2006. The ITRC's
findings also indicate that hackers are keeping ahead of preventive measures
that companies and individuals are taking to secure their systems, especially
laptops. Seems like a case of too little, too late.
Attrition.org lists a whopping 162 million compromised records last year, although
its figures include domestic and international events. Like the ITRC's figures,
Attrition.org's numbers jumped from 49 million last year.
Both groups' 2007 reports also show more incidents of employees losing sensitive
data (like the numerous instances reported here of government employees leaving
laptops in cars, cabs and cantinas). These trends of data loss through theft
or error aren't likely to reverse or abate any time soon, either.
How are you securing your systems in the new year? Any other security- or IT-related
new year's resolutions? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Netscape To Breathe Its Last
Around New Year's, all the newspapers, magazines and news Web sites come out
with lists of events that cover the year that just ended -- celebrities who
passed, celebrities who married or had kids, celebrities who pulled major bonehead
maneuvers (that's usually the longest list).
One "celebrity" from the tech world that has passed -- or is soon
to pass -- is good, old Netscape (and yes, I had tongue firmly planted in cheek
as I typed "good old"). Whether you love it or hate it or land somewhere
in between, Netscape was indeed a pioneer. It was the first browser I used on
a regular basis, and I suspect it helped many along in their introduction to
all things Web.
AOL is pulling
the plug on Netscape on Feb. 1. Time Warner's AOL division is ending any
further development or support on Netscape, and plans to concentrate its efforts
on developing AOL's ad business. How long it takes Netscape to flatline remains
to be seen. You'll still be able to download and use Netscape, but there won't
be any updates or patches. And we've seen how long orphaned technologies can
inexplicably survive out in the open!
Just for a bit of historical perspective, the first version of Netscape came
out in late 1994. Not a bad run for an Internet pioneer.
What are you using to browse? Are you a Netscape veteran? Check in with me
Some 2008 Predictions
Now that we've looked back on 2007, let's look ahead to 2008. So far, so good:
no hangover on New Year's Day, big snowstorm in the East (which is good news
for a hopeless ski bum like me), no angry e-mails now that I'm back at my desk.
IDC has released a top-10
list of predictions for the storage market. (I wonder if David Letterman
will pick this up in light of the ongoing writers strike?). Its list includes:
10. Demand for de-duplication, thin provisioning and virtual tape
9. Green storage initiatives.
8. Integrated storage and server technology for small and mid-sized
7. Full-disk encryption to satisfy compliance regulations.
6. Value-added storage services separated from storage infrastructure.
5. Virtual servers as a conduit for iSCSI.
4. Solid-state disk drives dropping in price.
3. Object-based storage systems to classify data.
2. New role-based storage systems.
1. More interest in storage services for data backup, archiving and
Somehow, I think Letterman might pass. Interesting thoughts from IDC, naturally,
although I would've expected more nods to virtual storage.
Here's another prediction for 2008: We may be able to expect a better year
for information security with the help of greater standards. That's the outlook
of professional services firm Halock Security
Labs, which has just launched a new suite of services to address the ISO
27001 standard -- a model for establishing, implementing, reviewing, maintaining
and improving information security management systems. The standard should help
companies unify their security requirements under a single framework.
What's your organization's strategy for information security? What will you
do differently in the new year to face new threats? I'll keep your secrets safe
Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.