Project Management

Safeguarding Off-Line Data

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Why break-in to a system when the data is breaking out? Plugging vulnerabilities, locking down system access, eliminating removable media from employee workstations are all well and good, but all for not if backups and archives sent off site are not secure as well.
Seems every few months we hear of another cache of confidential information on customers and employees being lost or stolen while in transit to secure storage facilities or from laptops left on car seats. The real rub is that organizations that have spent millions on IT security but can’t seem to get it right in the most simplest of activities: safeguarding off-line data. Considering the rise of identity theft, the failure to secure off-line data is like giving thieves the keys to the kingdom.
Think I am overstating the case? Consider these recent events:
February 2005:Bank of America loses tapes which included personal information on 1.2 million federal employees.” Among the lost data were Social Security numbers and other account information belonging to federal employees who held charge cards with B of A. The information is exactly the kind of data need for identity theft.

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