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June 2010

Use full disk or file/folder encryption for laptop data security

According to the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center, staggering numbers of sensitive data records were breached in 2009, continuing a trend occurring since 2005. Approximately 498 distinct breaches took place with at least 222 million sensitive records lost or stolen. Roughly two-thirds of the breaches were explained, and of these, 27.5 percent were due to lost laptops and other incidents where data was "on the move," or accidental exposure. Regardless of how the breach occurred, only six of the 498 had encryption or other security controls in place. With vast numbers of records being lost or stolen, particularly from mobile systems, more organizations should be using endpoint security controls such as laptop encryption. In addition to the potential loss of customer confidence, litigation concerns, and general "bad press" that come with a public data breach, many organizations need to adhere to multiple compliance and privacy mandates at state, federal, and industry levels. Although few compliance requirements actually ...

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