It's amazing how many major data breaches and leaks result from the basic mishandling of sensitive data and a lack of DRM polciies governing access to that data.
If you’re not familiar with the website Information Is Beautiful, spend some time falling down that rabbit hole. It’s a massive collection of interactive infographics showing trends covering everything from the peak age of geniuses to topics hyped by the media over the years and yes, you guessed it, recent data security incidents and their causes.
This continuously updated bubble graph showcases selected reported data breaches involving 30,000 lost or stolen files or more. You can filter by various factors including cause, industry, the estimated sensitivity of the data and so on. I was interested in seeing which breaches were the result of issues that can be addressed with a comprehensive EDRM, file tracking and encryption system like Vaultize.
Here’s just a few of the incidents featured:
Entire Turkish Citizenship Database leaked
The entirety of the Turkish government’s records on its citizenship (everything from addresses to ID numbers) was allegedly leaked online in April. According to the Business Insider, there were 49,611,709 compromised files in all.
191 million U.S. voters exposed online
An incorrectly configured database containing unencrypted, unprotected voter data, including party affiliation, address and phone number, was discovered open to all comers on the internet in 2015. According to Reuters, “A trove of all U.S. voter data could be valuable to criminals looking for lists of large numbers of targets for a variety of fraud schemes.”
The Panama Papers
An estimated 2.6 terabytes of data on the shady financial dealings of the world’s leaders and some well-known celebrities was leaked from a Panamanian law firm in 2016.
“The documents show the myriad ways in which the rich can exploit secretive offshore tax regimes,” the Guardian reported. “Twelve national leaders are among 143 politicians, their families and close associates from around the world known to have been using offshore tax havens.”
Several other significant leaks resulting from a lack of DRM, file encryption and tracking also make Information Is Beautiful’s graph, including the 2015 IRS breach (poor security), the leakage of French police officers’ health insurance information and the inside job at the Korea Credit Bureau involving 20,000,000 compromised records.
Data leaks and breaches stem from a variety of problems ranging from weak network security to poor enforcement of security best practices among staff. It’s critical to be able to control access to all your sensitive data, see who’s opening and editing it and track where it’s being sent. Even better, limit the geographic locations and IP addresses at which your data can even be viewed. All of this can go a long way to ensuring your organization never makes a top data leaks list.
Download our free whitepaper – Don’t Get Fired For ￼￼￼Critical Data Leaks: 6 Essentials For 100% Secure Enterprise File Sharing. You can also try our virtual appliance (for free) at our Free Download page.