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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.

Drive Encryption Software: NYU Langone Medical Center Notifies Nearly 670 Of Data Breach

The theft of a desktop computer from NYU Langone Medical Center has resulted in the breach of information for 670 people.  It's not mentioned what types of data security tools -- for example, hard drive encryption software like AlertBoot -- were used to protect the data.  A suspect has been arrested.

Correspondence Stolen

The theft was noticed on January 27.  The desktop computer was stolen from a research office in the fifth floor at NYU Langone, and recreating the contents of the stolen device showed that correspondence with patients was stored on it.  (Oddly enough, it's mentioned that the "encrypted network back-up files" were used in the reconstitution process, but it's not mentioned whether desktop computer encryption was used on the missing computer).

653 letters included patient names, diagnoses, test results, and clinical information.  Another 26 letters included medical record numbers, home addresses, dates of birth, and patient occupation.  Two of these letters contained SSNs.  A total of 670 letters were found on the backups (there's some overlap going on, obviously).

While a suspect is under custody, the computer has not been recovered.

Weird Emphasis

The disclosure by NYU Langone Medical Center is a very forthcoming one.  In fact, the admin at phiprivacy.net praised it, something that hasn't happened often for as long as I've been following the site.

But, I have to wonder if it's really as forthcoming as it appears.  Why was the presence or absence of encryption software on the computer not mentioned?  Is it implied that, because they had "encrypted network back-up files," that the desktop computer was also encrypted?  If so, is the implication valid?  Or is it a PR sleight-of-hand that leads us to believe such an implication when that was not the case?

(And, what exactly does "encrypted network back-up files" mean?  Are the files encrypted, and NYU was making use of a network for remote backups, or was the network itself encrypted and backup files were shot through them, or what?)

Generally, organizations that have used proper encryption to secure sensitive files tend to mention it.  And why not?  It's one of the few solutions that are so successful in the data security arena that it leads people to believe that it's a cure-all (it isn't.  But it's very good).

I think that NYU's 670 patients would very much appreciate it if the medical center would confirm the presence of data security software on the as-of-yet missing computer.


Related Articles and Sites:
https://www.med.nyu.edu/patients-visitors/about-us/data-breach-notification
http://www.phiprivacy.net/?p=6352

 
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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.