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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based full disk encryption and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

AlertBoot Endpoint Security

AlertBoot offers a cloud-based full disk encryption and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

Laptop Encryption Software: Whole Of Belize Has Data Breach

A laptop computer issued to an employee working for the government of Belize was stolen during a car break-in.  It is not know whether laptop encryption was used to protect the contents of the laptop.

Entire Population of Belize Affected

The laptop computer in question was issued to an employee in the Vital Statistics Unit.  Among other data, it contained birth certificate information.  For the entire nation, which kinda makes sense.  (What does the Vital Statistics Unit do?  If it's anything like the vital stats departments in any nation, it's probably in charge of records for births, deaths, marriages, and divorces, and the issuing of certificates for these.)

Other items stolen include a cell phone and the keys to the Vital Statistics Office, signifying that this was a random burglary where the thief or thieves netted more than they were expecting.

According to Belize's own statistical institute, the mid-2008 census showed that the country had 322,100 people.

On the one hand, it has affected the entire country, so it's a huge deal.  On the other hand, it doesn't appear as such in terms of raw numbers: the breach experienced by BlueCross BlueShield last month affected over 800,000 physicians across the US--that's over twice the population of Belize!

Data Protection

There are several ways that the breach could have been prevented.  To begin with, and most important, would be not to be carrying around a computer with the vital info on the entire population.  I mean, it's like the director of the CIA deciding to take his confidential files with him to lunch...you just don't take your crown jewels with you out of a safe environment.

Another option would have been to use encryption software.  It's quite debatable whether this is a better option than keeping data in safe environment (I would claim that it would be best to keep it in a safe environment and to have it encrypted...break-ins occur into buildings as well); however, in this particular case, the use of disk encryption would have meant more than adequate data security.

Hindsight is 20/20 they say.  But, as a person who follows news on information security breaches, I can tell you that I pretty much expected to read "data breach" when I saw "car," "burglary," and "laptop."


Related Articles and Sites:
http://www.channel5belize.com/archive_detail_story.php?story_id=25965
http://www.databreaches.net/?p=8572
http://www.cso.gov.bz/dms20uc/dynamicdata/docs/20090227122642_2.pdf

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About sang_lee

Sang Lee is a Senior Account Manager and Security Analyst with AlertBoot, Inc., the leading provider of managed endpoint security services, based in Las Vegas, NV. Mr. Lee helps with the deployment and ongoing support of the AlertBoot disk encryption managed service. Prior to working at AlertBoot, Mr. Lee served in the South Korean Navy. He holds both a B.S. and an M.S. from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.