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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.

The Cost Of A Data Breach: $26M And Counting For Maricopa County Colleges

As the year winds down, I couldn't help but look over some of the major data breaches of 2014.  Sure, we've got the behemoth known as the Sony hack going on right now, but – aside from the juicy Hollyweird gossip we're getting, and the international intrigue surrounding the hack– it's as of yet pretty hard to see what kind of real effect it's going to have in the long run.

Which brings us to one of the data breaches that stands out from 2013, but is still shining a light in 2014: the Maricopa County College hack.  It is the biggest data breach in the US education sector to date.  More interesting, though, is that the district is being very open with the dollar figures surrounding the aftermath of the hack.

$26 Million, with the Bulk Going to Lawyers

According to databreaches.net, MCCCD has reserved $26 million for cleaning up the 2013 hack, with approximately $16.6 million spent so far:
  • $19.9 million went to lawyers (students filed lawsuits).
  • $7.5 million are reserved for IT consulting and repair.
  • $7 million were set aside for notification and credit monitoring services ($3 million). MCCCD was billed for $36,286 (that's not a typo).
  • $2.2 million are going to "services."
In addition, it was revealed that insurers paid $867,000 of the costs, although MCCCD is pushing for more payments.

Encryption and Other Security Measures Sure Are Cheap

When you see the figures above, you can't help but think that perhaps IT security costs are pretty cheap.  I mean, sure, depending on what you're looking to do, if could cost thousands of dollars to begin with.  And with IT security, the sky really is the limit.  But isn't it money better spent than giving it to lawyers?  Or spending millions on sending letters of apology via US postal mail?

A Little Shocking

I find a couple of things shocking.  First, the fact that almost no one signed up for credit monitoring services.  Granted, they don't really do much, but it's better than one day waking up and finding that your SSN has been misused, or that your bank account has been wiped out, etc.  To find that so little faith is put in it that MCCCD is using only 1.2% of the money they reserved is pretty shocking.  If I'm not wrong, the (quite limited) past figures have shown the rates to be closer to the 10%...which is not really saying much, but still.

The other shocking thing: insurance doesn't really make up for bad data security.  Well, maybe it's not that shocking.  But it's pretty shocking that even when they do, it's really not enough to cover the expenses stemming from a data breach.

Related Articles and Sites:
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2014/12/17/costs-repair-massive-mcccd-computer-hack-top-million/20539491/
http://www.databreaches.net/maricopa-county-colleges-computer-hack-cost-tops-26m-so-far/
 
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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.