Data Breaches Scar 2009 for Businesses, Agencies

Patrick Avery

Network Security Edge recently looked back at the Ten Most Damaging Data Breaches of 2009. These embarrassing mishaps range from small, regional breaches, which may involve a local business or hospital, to national breaches that typically revolve around credit and debit cards.


Notable breaches included:


  • Heartland Payment Systems. Hackers stole more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers from Heartland and Hannaford.
  • Metro Nashville Schools. A private contractor unintentionally put student data on a Web server that wasn't secure, and the data was available online for three months.
  • University of California, Berkeley. Hackers infiltrated Berkeley's restricted databases, possibly stealing personal information of 160,000 current and former students and alumni.
  • Internal Revenue Service. Old tax returns were tossed out in regular waste containers and dumpsters instead of being shredded.


What these breaches illustrate is the continuing need to educate people about the importance of data and network security. Here are some resources in the Knowledge Network that address data security and provide tips for securing important and private information.


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