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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based full disk encryption and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based full disk encryption and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

Data Breach Costs: USB vs. Laptop Computer vs. CD

Once in a while, I'll see someone searching up "USB data breach cost" or "cost of laptop data breach."  Let's think about this for a moment.  Does it really matter how the breach took the place?

The answer is "yes, it does matter."  But, not when it comes to data breach costs.  You see, figuring out how a breach occurred allows one to prevent it in the future (hopefully).

For example, if you know that certain managers have to carry around sensitive data in their laptops; and these managers are a significant percentage of your workforce (say, 10%); and they travel a lot for business...it's a no-brainer: they need a hard drive encryption solution.  This way, a full-blown data breach can be prevented if any laptops are lost or stolen (airports, hotel  lobbies, taxis, random muggings,...).

Too Many Ways Of Getting A Data Breach

But, the world of information has too many vectors for generating information security breaches: laptops, USB flash drives, CDs, floppy disks (yes, the 3.5" kind), zip disks, mobile phones, etc.  Basically, any digital data receptacle can lead to a data breach one it goes missing.

And with digital storage capacities growing on an exponential curve (or if you prefer, their size shrinking on an exponential curve), the loss of a laptop computer could cost as much as the loss of a USB memory disk the size of your pinky fingernail.

So, what people should really be interested in is "what is the cost of a data breach?"

The Cost Of Data Breaches In 2008

The average cost of data breaches in 2008 was $202 per record, according to certain surveys.  That is, each name will cost about two-hundred dollars when a company considers the costs of mailed notifications, defense against lawsuits, setting up call-centers to handle inquiries, PR and reputation management, lost business, etc.

Protecting Your Data - The Only Way To Bring Costs Down

It's indisputable: there is a systemic risk of losing something if that thing can be moved.  Size doesn't matter as much as "movability:" if you didn't need a team of elephants to drag it into place, it's losable, "missable," "stealable."  In other words, it's easier to steal an armored truck than it is to steal 800 lbs of cotton--the former is designed for mobility, the latter is not.

What this means is that, in the modern information-centric workplace, with all of its gadgets and productivity-enhancement products, you can never fully prevent a breach from occurring: the best you can do is minimize the overall risks of an actual data breach.

How do you minimize it?  First, accept the fact that data is shapeless, formless...as flowing as water.  In other words, you need secure all types of data, not just digital but your paper documents as well.

Second, you need the traditional type of protection--physical protection, that is.  Things like locked cabinets, doors, and the like.  Basically, prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing anything that may contain sensitive data, be they tomorrow's presentation printout or a computer containing sensitive files.

Third, you need technological protection.  Things like biometric security, for example, are technological, but, in most cases, they tend to supplement physical protection, such as access to a room.  It's not real "protection" because what the biometrics has done is take the place of a key.  Security is still provided in the form of a locked room.

Instead, you want products that will enhance security, not convenience.  Things like laptop encryption or file encryption software, firewalls, antivirus software, etc.--things that don't have a physical protection counterpart.

Sure, they cost money.  But, a company tends to have more customers than employees (otherwise, you may want to bail out on your current job).  If you do the calculations, more than not you'll find that investment in security products are cheaper than dealing with a data breach.

 
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About sang_lee

Sang Lee is a Senior Account Manager and Security Analyst with AlertBoot, Inc., the leading provider of managed endpoint security services, based in Las Vegas, NV. Mr. Lee helps with the deployment and ongoing support of the AlertBoot disk encryption managed service. Prior to working at AlertBoot, Mr. Lee served in the South Korean Navy. He holds both a B.S. and an M.S. from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.