DATA SECURITY

Loose grip on government data

On St. Patrick’s Day, the Identity Theft Resource Center released its weekly report on data breaches to that point this year. It documented 110 confirmed incidents that exposed nearly 1.3 million records containing personally identifiable information.

According to ITRC, a nonprofit organization whose work is supported by a Justice Department grant, the government and military sector were the chief offenders, accounting for 78 percent of all exposed records with just 22 breaches.

Those breaches included state, local and federal government agencies and more than 1 million records. The largest incident involved 807,000 records held by the Arkansas Department of Information Services.

In the federal government, incidents occurred at the Idaho National Laboratory (59,000 records), the Federal Aviation Administration (45,000 records) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (50 records).

The banking and financial sector appears to have the tightest grip on information. It accounted for just 12 breaches and 288 exposed records. Other sectors include business (45 breaches and 95,396 records), education (18 breaches and 117,804 records), and medical and health care (13 breaches and 68,615 records).

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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