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Lucky Organizations—Suffered Data Breach But NOT Loss

Jul. 05, 2013 5:07 PM ET
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It will be quite difficult to remember for any of you of how many USB flash drives you have used or got till now. There can be some USB drives which you got from seminars or some other conferences; you might have used them to copy small and less important data. How many of the thumb drives can be tracked by you that you have used in the past. I wonder that there will not be more than a couple. Are you sure that all the USB drives that you have lost or disposed off were completely formatted? You might not even have thought about this before, every piece of data is important and can be used against you to harm you. The portable storage devices should be properly cleaned before disposing off, otherwise, it can hurt you a lot. A case was reported by the government of British Columbia. They said that the personal health data of millions of British citizens have been accessed without prior authorization. The number of people whose data is compromised is 38,480. The data was saved in a USB pen drive which shared without permission with the other researchers and contractors. The USB stick had the figures of the Canadian health survey. Apart from that, data contained information about the physical, mental and sexual health of the citizens. The details about their diet, daily routine and other information about the individuals was also present in the compromised data. The concerned authorities were not much aware of the acts done by the person who got that data other than the research purpose. But, there was a huge threat of fraud, which is why the authorities decided to share this news with the people and ask them to be ready for the expected perils and take precautions.

A similar incident took place in Canada recently, Human Resource and Skill Development Canada (HRSDC) revealed that one of their employees misplaced a portable drive. The USB flash drive contained the financial and loan information of 583,000 Canadians. People whose information got compromised were the clients of student Loans program from 2000 to 2006. The names, date of births, social insurance number, contact information and detail information about individuals' loan was leaked. The personal information of about Two Hundred employees was also leaked. Luckily, no financial information was saved on the lost drive. Borrowers from Quebec, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories were not affected. These kinds of breaches may cause millions of Dollars of loss. The identities of the individuals can be used for different sorts of crime which could trouble them in future. USBs are such a convenient carrier to carry data with you, but this career is not much equipped for troubleshooting. For this purpose individuals and the big organizations who are using the USB jump drive for the purpose to save data should use make helpful measures to make the data secure. One of the better and easier ways to prevent data breach through the USB flash drive is to use security software that cans Secure USB. The breaches suffered by the organization discussed above are lucky that they did not suffer severe consequences of data breach. Otherwise, data leakages can end up in the shape of big losses.

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Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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