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Papa Gino's Pizzeria Adds Encryption to Menu

New consumer data security regulations keep rolling in. Already, about 40 states have some sort of data breach disclosure laws in place that require organizations to inform customers whose personally identifiable information -- usually bank account, credit card, or Social Security numbers -- may have been breached. Coming this January are the new Standards for The Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth from the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

This new set of rules, for the first time, will add a requirement that companies properly protect data that is stored on portable drives, such as notebooks and flash drives, to the state's existing laws. Like similar data breach state laws, it applies to data about Massachusetts consumers even if that data resides in another state.

Papa Gino's and D'Angelo Sandwich Shops, a company based in Dedham, Mass., is already prepared.

Not too long ago, the restaurant chain's workers were using ad-hoc tools to protect sensitive information. "We had people using passwords to protect individual files, or they'd download third-party encryption applications from the Internet to protect their data," Chris Cahalin, network manager at Papa Gino's, told Byte and Switch. "They'd eventually forget their password, or lose their encryption keys."

That's not an uncommon story, and it's not a sustainable way to manage encryption on more than 170 desktops and notebooks. "We knew we needed to build a more manageable way to protect data," he said. For file and hard disk encryption, many companies have tried open source tools such as TrueCrypt and PGP Corp. 's Pretty Good Privacy, or the encryption built in to operating systems such as Windows XP, Vista, and OS X. But they quickly learn that the management burden for multiple systems is too high.

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