Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Data Danger

Once again, a large enterprise has had to fess up to its customers that it has lost a backup tape containing their private information. Even in a year where some of the largest- and ostentiably best run - companies reported similar mishaps, the latest incident involving Marriott's timesharing division 'misplacing' customer data is still surprising, if not exactly shocking. After the negative attention focused on similar incidents earlier this year, wouldn't you expect businesses to have better safeguards in place by now?Just two weeks ago, I received a letter from one of my financial institutions notifying me of a similar incident, which had occurred in November. Though that tape was found, apparently without incident, it refocused my own attention on the strangely archaic way in which too many supposedly state-of-the-art and highly regulated companies continue to handle - and mishandle - customer information, the most important asset they have.

With all the attention that network security gets, I am stunned at how many enterprises are still forgetting to cover the basic physical security. Even the most sophisticated enterprise security technology is useless if you leave the keys to the proverbial kingdom in the front door.