The saving graces in this situation would appear to be that no evidence has surfaced that the sensitive information has been compromised, and the laptop was powered off at the time of theft. To access the data the thief would first have to power on the laptop then log in to the computer by providing a user name and password. Even so, Boeing is taking no chances and is currently in the process of contacting the individuals affected by the theft. By way of apology and compensation the company has offered those affected two years of credit monitoring on Boeing’s dime.
This is the third such theft at Boeing since the fall of last year, despite internal policies requiring employees to work off of the server behind the firewall. Policies that were personally enforced by management at Boeing. Managers manually verified that no one was storing sensitive information on notebooks that would be used in the field.
So how does this happen? The short answer is it only takes one person storing information locally as a convenience to cause a crippling breach in a company’s domain.
So how are such losses prevented? There are a number of ways to avoid this kind of exposure.
- Use an electronic password key such as RSA. This kind of enterprise level encryption will ensure that a thief can’t access stolen information simply be entering a user’s password. The password in this case is determined via RSA. Tough, but not invulnerable.
- Format notebook hard drives at the end of every working day. Labor intensive, costly, and impractical if the notebook is stolen before it can be re-imaged. However, it does eliminate the risk of employees storing information locally on a notebook long-term.
- Provide all employees with USB memory keys. Practical in the sense that no information is stored locally on the notebook, but dangerous in the sense that USB keys are easily lost or stolen.
The best way to ensure your data, and in this example the identities of your employees, is protected is to never let it leave your place of business. Terminal Services allows you to do just that.
powered by performancing firefox