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January 2009

State Data Breach Notification Laws: Have They Helped?

Point by Marcus Ranum THERE'S AN OLD SAYING, "Sometimes things have to get a lot worse before they can get better." If that's true, then breach notification laws offer the chance of eventual improvements in security, years hence. For now? They're a huge distraction that has more to do with butt-covering and paperwork than improving systems security. Somehow, the security world has managed to ignore the effect voluntary (?) notification and notification laws have had in other fields-namely, none.We regularly get bank disclosure statements, stock plan announcements, HIPAA disclosures, etc.-and they all go immediately in the wastebasket, unread.When I got my personal information breach notification from the Department of Veterans Affairs, it went in the trash too. "Your personal information has been disclosed...yadda, yadda, yadda"- annoying stuff that's my responsibility to deal with because someone, someplace else, didn't handle data about me responsibly.We are deluged with fineprinted disclosures and warnings, and eventually ...

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Features in this issue

  • Product Review: Cenzic Hailstorm Enterprise ARC 5.7

    Web application security has moved from a niceto- have to a must-have requirement, for data protection and compliance. Cenzic's Hailstorm, which we last reviewed in 2005, reflects the growth in the depth and maturity of Web application vulnerability assessment software.

  • Product Review: GoldKey Secure USB Token

    The GoldKey Secure USB Token works with Windows and Macintosh operating systems to provide a secure place to stash encryption keys for virtual disks. By keeping encryption keys on a small, removable USB token, GoldKey simplifies the task of locking away important information on laptops and encourages good security behaviors.

  • Product Review: Hedgehog Enterprise 2.2

    Eight years after the release of Microsoft SQL 2000, we're still looking for help from bolt-on security product vendors to harden and protect critical production database servers. Sentrigo's Hedgehog Enterprise 2.2 is designed to monitor and protect against known and unknown database threats.

Columns in this issue