Time For ID Lockdown

Lies, damned lies and statistics

November 23, 2005

1 Min Read
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We may be entering into the holiday season proper, but the American consumer has clearly got more on his mind than turkeys, beer, and football (yeah, right). At least according to a survey sponsored by Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) that came out today, identity theft is also uppermost in peoples minds (See Holiday Shoppers Fear ID Theft.)

Of course, it is hardly surprising that Sun is pushing this message. The vendor, after all, has a slew of identity management products to flog. But, nonetheless, the results make for interesting reading.

To wit, more than a third of the 2,000+ people surveyed said they have either been a victim of identity theft or know someone who has been targeted. More then half the respondents also said they would switch their finances to another institution if notified that their personal data had been compromised Clearly, identity theft is now well and truly on everyone’s radar.

To make matters worse, US-CERT, the U.S Government agency set up to tackle cyber-crime, today warned that criminals are resorting to ever more sophisticated ways to conduct phishing attacks and other forms of online fraud.

The risks are there for all to see, but are enterprises up to speed with what they need to do? I am not convinced that they are. If issues such as encryption, backup, and phishing are not met head-on, then there is every possibility that some big-name firms could end up looking like turkeys this holiday season.— James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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