Blog | Read about controlling and protecting your information
A lot of us worry about confidential information leaking out to competitors, bloggers, news organizations or the general public. Some go to extraordinary lengths to lock down everything, but that can prevent legitimate business. Others take the time to determine what is sensitive and do their best to prevent malicious disclosure.
If you work in a department that has to legitimately use someone’s social security number, you can put technology in place to prevent disclosing it to unauthorized people. You can encrypt it in a database, use data loss prevention to make sure it doesn’t go out through email, and even watch people’s keystrokes if you want to get severe. Technology is important, but a lot of it comes down to trusting the people in your organization. If you don’t trust them, no amount of technology can stop everything.
I just finished reading an article in the June 11, 2012 issue of Information Week titled, “Flame Give Spyware A Next-Gen Update” by Kelly Jackson Higgins. If you haven’t been keeping up on the latest threats to your personal information “Flame” is the most recently discovered malware that has attacked PCs and infrastructure in the Middle East. Actually “Flame” was the predecessor to “Stuxnet” and has been hiding in plain sight for several years. “Flame” is 20 times the size of “Stuxnet” and provides a library of commands for hackers to use to attack PCs and other devices. The library includes commands to extract information from databases and exploit functions such as listening to Skype calls and using Bluetooth communication to monitor your attached devices.
This sounds like a line from an old English novel or movie, but refers to a major data breach at the Vatican. The Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, has been arrested by Vatican police on suspicion of stealing confidential documents from the Pope. The scandal has rocked the very secretive world of the Vatican and brought to light numerous intrigues, infighting and general power grabbing. Vatican and Italian police believe the butler is just the tip of the iceberg and that many other people are involved. Theories range from insiders who want to bring down the current pope to positioning for influence when the next pope is elected.
It all sounds like the plot of a suspense novel or the latest Hollywood blockbuster – I bet it will be in time. It could also be a sequel to a Dan Brown novel. Some are dubbing the scandal VatiLeaks and it might be just as big as the release of US State Department cables by WikiLeaks in 2010.
This past weekend, I had to accompany a relative to the emergency room of my local hospital. She had been feeling poorly and the doctor on call (hers was off for the weekend) suggested she needed to get checked out and get a blood test.
When we arrived, the check-in area had her complete some forms and entered her into the system. She has been to the hospital before, so her medical and insurance information was already there. Then we sat and waited; actually it wasn’t very long.
We went into the triage area where a nurse took her vitals, asked her what was wrong and copied down everything about her medications; she brought all the prescription bottles to make this easier. The nurse wrote some of this down on a form and entered some of it into the computer. After that, we went out to the waiting room and waited.