Real World Reasons to Adopt Robust Data Security, Sky is Falling

The children’s classic Chicken Little story has the oft-repeated lament, “The sky is falling.” Many firms have taken the attitude that data breaches and data security are someone else’s problem and that “it won’t happen here.” Unfortunately, “the sky is falling” when it comes to business data breaches. Data breaches are all too common as the December report by the Identity Theft Resource Center reveals. A few of the 461 breaches identified in the December 2009 report illustrate the scope of the data security problem:
  • TAD Gear recently learned that their database was illegally accessed from an external source.
  • Cobra Electronics Corp. had a hacker gain access to unencrypted credit card information of customers. 
  • Tip Top Kitchen had a weak point in the computer defenses allowing a hacker to worm in. 
  • A receptionist for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid allegedly stole the identities of at least 20 clients. 
  • The University Medical Center has had an employee selling data from accident patients.

Source for citations: Identity Theft Resource Center, Report Date: 12/1/2009. This 98 page report identified 461 data breaches exposing 222,168,244 records.

As long as businesses continue to use weak and ineffective security protocols for data, the incidences and severity of breaches will grow. As the Identity Theft Center report reflects, breaches can occur through employee theft of data, outside hackers, inadequate security and privacy procedures – the gamut. In many cases, businesses and employees compromise security for the sake of convenience. Robust security is often seen as an impediment to efficiency. This does not have to be the case.

One solution that is gaining momentum utilizes smart card technology where the security protocol is embedded in the “chip” to increase security with relative ease. By using the smart card, with a password and user name or the even more robust biometric identifier, data can be positively linked to the identification and role of the person accessing the data. The smart card becomes a “lock and key” protecting any access – especially unauthorized access – to a data base.

Enhanced Smart cards provide the most robust security necessary to comply with:
  • HIPAA the federal medical records privacy law
  • The Hi-Tech Act 
  • The Federal Trade Commission’s “Red Flags” Rule applicable to any firms that maintain credit-type information 
  • And other privacy and identity laws and rules.
And, as systems become increasingly networked and interoperable, the need for enhanced Smart cards to provide secure and private access to data, coupled with certainty of identity of users and their roles becomes even more important. As importantly, smart cards are a technology that can reduce costs, increase efficiency and increase convenience.

Pamela D. Mitroff, MBA is the Director of Public Relations and Communications for Secure Services Corporation (SSC) in Downers Grove, IL. SSC is a leader in identity management solutions, including a line of healthcare technology solutions built around their SHAPE™ environment – Secure Health And Privacy Environment. Their product line includes the SHAPE Card™, identity management through a patent pending biometric match-on-chip, providing secure identification and authentication without exposing the fingerprint to any database.

“Secure information at the tip of your finger.”

You may contact Pamela at


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