Data Security Breaches Come in Many Flavors

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Often times we would like to believe that data breaches happen because some cybercriminal intentionally gained access to our personal information. That may not always be the case. The following are examples of the various ways that data breaches occur. Some are deliberate and others are accidental.

In October 2013, a software manufacturer, revealed that a hacker was able to access customer IDs and passwords on its systems. The attacker was able to obtain customer names, encrypted credit and debit card number, expiration dates from customer orders worldwide for 2.9 million customers.

Stolen Laptop Computer
In October 2013, a laptop with unencrypted data was stolen from a car belonging to an employee at a health care agency in Wisconsin. As a result, patients may have had their personal health information, such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers and individual medical conditions stolen.

Employee Theft
In September 2013, a hospital employee in Florida accessed patient names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and addresses. Even though the employee was fired and will be facing criminal prosecution, this information may have been used to file fraudulent tax returns.

Email Error
In September 2013, a university medical center suffered a data security breach when an Excel file, containing sensitive medical student information, was accidentally attached to an email that was sent to students, faculty and staff.

Programming Error
In September 2013, a financial services firm suffered a data breach when a programming error allowed customers’ names, Social Security numbers and addresses to be viewed on the firm’s unrestricted website.

These recent incidents show that data security breaches come in many flavors. As County employees, we must remain vigilant as we each play role to ensure that data breaches do not occur.

Contact the ETS Service desk at 954-357-8600 or etsservicedesk@broward.org if you suspect a data breach occurred on the County’s network.