Submitted by Don Doman
I’m sure someone thought it all out before hand. Perhaps, it was even a committee decision. Regardless, there’s probably enough blame to go around.
If you find a hard drive from Washington State University with over a million people and their social security numbers and other sensitive data recorded saved on the drive, WSU would like it back. The hard drive was locked up in an inexpensive 1.2 CU FT safe tucked away in an 8-by-10 self storage unit in Olympia.
Bryan Seely, a Seattle-based cybersecurity expert says, “A lot of people have access to those facilities. Once you’re through the main gate you generally have access to every door in every storage unit.” There were no security cameras.
Total cost to WSU could exceed half a million dollars, and who knows what hands will wind up with the data.
If the information is used for identity theft, then according to an FTC Identity Theft Survey Report 50% will use the information to create credit card accounts, 19% will use the information to access bank accounts, 14% will use the data to open phone and internet accounts, and 4% will use the information to make automobile and real estate loans. Worse it sometimes takes years, to re-instate and rebuild credit report scores.
The theft was reported April 21st. Only one storage unit was broken into. The safe was taken. The expenses and damage just keep increasing.
Be careful with data. It is not safe to simply erase data. It is best to destroy the drives themselves. Shred all hard drives as soon as the information is obsolete or archived somewhere else.