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What Is Data Vulnerability?

    Legal Regulations

    • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for monitoring corporate data breach protocols. The FTC can fine companies that have not put the appropriate security strategies in place in their organizations. As of March 2007, the Federal Desktop Core Configuration requires operating system software to have specific security configurations to protect individuals from identity theft and data vulnerability. Additionally, law enforcement professionals are encouraging consumers to implement data vulnerability protection on their personal data and computers.

    Identity Theft

    • A wealth of personal, financial and other critical data is available online. According to Torin Monahan of Vanderbilt University, identity theft is the United States' largest fraud-related complaint. Approximately 9 million identity theft cases occur each year. Credit card, telephone, utilities and wire transfers are all vulnerable to identity theft.

    Corporate Data

    • Proprietary information protection is difficult, and when a company's data is at risk, consumers and other corporations hesitate to do business with that company. It is not just company data that can be hacked, but also customer and vendor information. According to Quest, within six months of data loss, 60 percent of companies shut down. Information security policies must apply to the entire corporation. Companies must have security training available where every employee and manager understands data vulnerability and creates strategies to reduce these risks.

    Consumer Protection

    • Law enforcement is encouraging consumers to implement data vulnerability protection. Purchasing a shredder to shred all personal and financial documents and bills is a sound investment for individuals as well as corporations. Consumers should cover the keypad when using an ATM and not openly provide personal information via the phone or Internet. Setting up firewalls on personal computers is an excellent security measure that can help protect against the hacking of personal data. Sensitive data should be encrypted and remote destruction software should be installed on personal computers and laptops. In the event that a piece of equipment is lost or stolen, this software can be activated remotely and personal data can be deleted and the computer can be shut down even if it's not in the owner's possession. Personal computer users should get regular security assessments performed and their information backed up through a reputable online backup provider.

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