Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Publicized security breaches to rocket

#160 According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC), 61 U.S. organizations have reported exposures of personal information of more than 50 million individuals in the past 180 days. PRC keeps the best list of breaches reported since February's watershed incident at ChoicePoint, where criminals obtained 145,000 customer accounts and sparked a series of congressional hearings on the subject of data security.

Nineteen states have now joined California in requiring organizations to notify individuals if their Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, financial account numbers or other sensitive information is exposed to unauthorized people (see table 2). What'll be the impact of a continuing stream of publicized security breaches? It won't do anything good for customer confidence. A Conference Board survey released in June reported that 41% of customers are purchasing less online than a year ago because of security fears (see Survey: Consumers growing wary of buying online).
Trends like this affect all companies, even those with solid security.
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