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News

Data losses demand more stringent self regulation

Nebulas Solutions : 29 January, 2009  (Technical Article)
After the Monster.com data loss, Nebulas comments on the requirement for tougher self regulation to avoid external legislation
Online businesses must get to grips with data security or face tough external regulation according to Nick Garlick, Managing Director at Nebulas Security, the data security specialist.

Nick has made this comment after online recruitment site, Monster.com has admitted that hackers have stolen the personal details of its 4.5 million job seekers.

'We've seen this time and time again over the past few months - apparently reputable organisations having their systems hacked; memory sticks, CDs and laptops being lost and stolen - all containing millions of people's confidential data. Unless organisations tackle this situation, they will face tough external regulation forcing them into straight-jacket systems designed to protect personal data properly. Such regulation is already being drafted in the US, and whilst it will have benefits, it will mean additional cost and overheads.

"In this online world, business and government have a duty of care to handle personal information with the greatest security possible. Companies often argue that the right technology doesn't exist, but that's simply not the case.

"The technology is available to stop information theft: what's missing in many businesses is the knowledge and willingness to implement the technology and to enforce security policies alongside it. It doesn't cost the earth, and it will stop these kinds of attack in their tracks. Using such systems, the attack on Monster.com was easily preventable.

"Worryingly, this is the second time that Monster has suffered such a security breach. A third strike could potentially put it out of business.

"Many of those using the Monster.com site are now facing a double whammy: seeking work as a result of job losses or job insecurity caused by the credit crunch is bad enough, but having your personal data stolen simply because you uploaded your CV to a well-known recruitment site just adds insult to injury.

"Online businesses must do better; if not, tough US style regulation will come, along with the inevitable law suits."
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