Privacy Ref Blog

Tis the Season

Data breaches seem almost ubiquitous in the past few years.  Companies such as Target, Home Depot, and recently Experian experienced breaches resulting in tens of millions of records being leaked.  There is more to these than just hackers or a single point of failure.  Many times, breaches are can be a perfect storm of conditions that could have been handled individually, greatly reducing the risk of a breach, and lessening their impact should they occur.

It has been said for a long time that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Cliché as it may be, this is no less true when it comes to information privacy.  Running tests, such as those that detect vulnerabilities in your system, can find problems before they actually become a problem.

Recently, I reviewed breaches, including the breach of ten million customers from Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield in New York.  They were breached, but interestingly the breach took place as early as December of 2013.  That means that a person or group with malicious intent had access to information for almost two years.  Once they detected the issue, I can only imagine someone thought something to the effect of “if only we found this sooner.”

An assessment, penetration test, or security audit can be the saving grace that stops an attack before it starts.   Additionally, while internal security and privacy teams show a commitment to protecting your customer and employee information, it is also important to have third parties available as well.  An impartial team will give you information that allows you to act, improving security and closing holes in your security.

Remember that you cannot stop every breach, but you can detect them and act quickly.  A breach that occurs over days will pale in comparison to one which occurs over months.  Privacy is about information and the more you have, the more effectively you can act.

Privacy Ref provides consulting and assessment services to build and improve organizational privacy programs. For more information call Privacy Ref at (888) 470-1528 or email us at info@privacyref.com

Posted on October 29, 2015 by Ben Siegel


« »

No Responses

Comments are closed.


« »

Subscribe to our mailing list

Please fill out the form below.

Required

Want to find out more?

Simply go to the contact page, fill out the form, and someone from Privacy Ref will be in touch with you. You can also send an email to info@privacyref.com or call (888) 470-1528.

News

November 23, 2016

Quarterly Breach Webinar
On December 14th, Join Ben Siegel as he reviews recent data breaches, how they occurred, and what could have been done to better handle or prevent it. Sign up here.

Latest Blog Posts

November 10, 2016

Thoughts on Passwords and Privacy
Within 24 hours, I have had some interesting interactions with strong, or sometimes not-so-strong, passwords.  I figured now was a good time to go over some of the pitfalls you might encounter when trying to implement a new password policy for your customers or employees. Continue reading this post...

October 14, 2016

Facebook knows a lot
A few weeks ago, I was auditing a CIPP/US class that Bob Siegel was teaching on behalf of the IAPP.  Someone brought up the idea of openness and allowing individuals access to the data you have about them.  At this point, Bob discussed the principles behind this, such as how the OECD Guidelines approach it.  Bob also mentioned that under GDPR (and the EU Privacy Directive) a user should be able to see and correct information an organization has about them. Bob then mentioned it would be interesting to see what would happen if I asked a company about what data they had about me.  I immediately thought of Facebook. Continue reading this post...

Other Recent Posts

PRIVACY REF