How to protect your mobile data
...In today's workplace, it's impossible to eliminate mobile computing devices, laptops, thumb drives, mobile phones, PDAs and iPods. If you follow the news, you know that dozens of organizations have had mobile devices lost or stolen, and many of them were not as lucky as Lincoln Health. Since California enacted a data breach notification law in 2002 (followed by 32 other states), there have been a host of embarrassing disclosures about missing computers, most recently at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Trade Commission, the Transportation Department, accounting firms Deloitte & Touche and Ernst & Young (three separate occasions this year), Wells Fargo and ING banks, Fidelity Investments, the YMCA and Chevron.
About half of the states' breach-reporting laws give companies a way to avoid disclosing such breaches: the use of encryption on the mobile devices. The other states' breach laws encourage the use of encryption, as do other privacy protection laws such as the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act covering financial information, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) covering medical information. Avoiding both the breach penalties and the other costs of losing critical data makes an encryption strategy well worth the effort, says Tim McKnight, vice president and CISO at aerospace contractor Northrop Grumman. "We paid for our program with the savings from the first three laptops that were lost," he notes. Communications Infrastructure > Network and Management Planning > How to protect your mobile data
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