Security Breach Brief
Between 2003 and 2006, approximately nine million Americans were victims of identity theft each year. Although this number may seem astonishing, the costs of the crime are even more significant. According to recent studies, the average victim’s overall expenses are between $425 and $850, while the average time spent clearing up the situation is 40 to 330 hours. The most current study also indicated that the total cost to businesses and victims reached $57 billion in 2006. Yet the emotional toll is even higher- not only are identity theft victims forced to spend money and time to clear their records; victims are often unjustly harassed by debt collectors, employment prospects become limited, credit is denied, or the victims are repetitively arrested for crimes of which they are innocent.
Due to increasing occurrences of the crime, identity theft has been labeled the crime of the 21st century, as it has proven to be the ideal crime, due to its low risks and progressively high rewards. However, despite the numerous studies conducted, an accurate conclusion has not been reached to outline how the majority of identity theft occurs, or if information security breaches play a role in the crime. A nationwide survey found that half of victims are unsure how a thief obtained their personal information. However, law enforcement has indicated that in over half of all identity theft cases, those closely associated with organizations were involved.
The Safeguarding of Personal Information
Executing an efficient information security program is essential in order to allow an organization to perform its required role in protecting personal information. Conservation and security continue to be indispensable elements of information privacy. It remains one of the fundamental principles of balanced information practices: requiring that safety measures be utilized in the collection and retention of individuals’ personal information in...