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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.

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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.

Drive Encryption Software: Armstrong Atlantic State University Loses Storage Device, Has Data Breach

Armstrong Atlantic State University alumni have received letters alerting them of a data breach.  A portable device that stored personal information was stolen in October and the university is recommending that those contacted put security freezes on their credit reports and engage in other forms of preventing ID theft.  While not mentioned, it seems pretty apparent that hard disk encryption was not used to protect the contents of the device.

Nursing Students Pre-2007 Affected

The data device was stolen from the health professions building and affects only nursing students who attended Armstrong "before late 2006."  I'm guessing they're referring to any students who attended the institution before the 2005-2006 academic year.  The data breach notification letter is signed by the Dean of the College of Health Professions.

Not that information on students from later academic years was not included in the stolen portable device.  But, seeing how SSNs were phased out as student ID numbers beginning in late 2006, students enrolled since then are not thought to be potential ID victims.

Use of Portable Device Violates Policies

It was observed that the "use of the portable device to store confidential information was a violation of university policy."  Combined with the phasing out of SSNs as student IDs, it's quite clear that the university has put some efforts to ensure they have, if not good, at least adequate, data security.  And yet, I'm not sure they have done all they could have done to ensure a data-secure environment.

First, there is the fact that no one was disciplined about the use (and hence violation) of the portable data device.  Instead, additional training was provided, which is not a bad thing to do; however, not handing a form of punishment for violations of policies tends to imply that the policy is to be flaunted.

Second, there is the fact that prior to the theft of the device, there were reports of other petty thefts in the health professions building which led to the conclusion that "someone had obtained a key...and gained access when [the building] was closed."  Yet, someone was able to saunter in and steal more stuff?

Such a lax physical security environment leads to an increased risk of data breaches, since these are often tied to the theft of computer hardware, be it laptops, desktops, external storage hardware, or even computer media such as CDs and DVDs.

If you're going to have lax physical security, at least ensure that encryption software is being used to help minimize the risk of a data breach.


Related Articles and Sites:
http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2010-12-31/security-breach-savannah-college

 
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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.