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Back seat of the car makes a poor backup plan

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in Human Resources

Put on web site -- july 9, 2007 for a week

It’s still the safest place for small children in a car, but the back seat may not be the best place to stow your company’s backup data, as the administrators of the Ohio Administrative Knowledge System (OAKS) project found out when a critical disk went missing from an intern’s car on June 10.

Sensitive data on more than 64,000 state employees and some 75,000 dependents was stolen from the unlocked car. The disk also contained the bank account numbers of vendors, school districts and others who receive payments via electronic transfer from the state.

As a security measure, OAKS customarily sent a backup disk home nightly with the project’s network administrator. The administrator later decided to share that duty with the office interns. Presumably, he now has learned a hard lesson.

The state has earmarked over $600,000 for free identity-theft protection services for the state employees and their dependents whose records went missing. OAKS will get another $100,000 for security analysis and data recovery.

Your company is liable for data-security breaches. Protect your data through sound internal handling procedures or by contracting with a data-security firm.

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