The Difference between Data Theft and Data Loss
Data theft and data loss are two separate issues, with data theft having the worst consequences. Effective measures need to be put in place to prevent internal and external theft of data.
Back in the old times when digital technology was unheard of, thieves mostly stole physical objects such as jewelry and money – often times they would get caught and end up jail. Today, in the age of digital technology, thieves have the upper hand. Hackers and data thieves are almost always able to get away with stealing personal information – despite states and the federal government enacting strict e-crime laws.
Every year, the numbers related to data theft are rising, yet few incidents are reported every year. That’s because, majority of victims never have the opportunity to discover that their data had been stolen. Contrary to popular belief, data theft and data loss are two separate issues. To briefly describe the attributes of each problem, data loss simply amounts to lost data that cannot be recovered and results in no further consequences. On the other hand, data theft results in more than just lost data, which may or may not be recoverable; although, it always results in negative consequences for the individual whose data is stolen – simply explained, your data could be used to conduct fraud of various types.
Moving on, your data could be stolen in several ways. However, it is widely alleged that data thievery usually occurs from the following three sources: Employees or co-workers, hackers who may be targeting you and external contractors who temporarily work at your organization. Keep in mind that data theft resulting from the latter category is the least reported – possibly because contingent staffs don’t stick around long enough to get caught stealing corporate data. Nonetheless, internal employees can just be as sneaky at stealing company data as external contractors. Thus, it’s imperative that data security within an organization should be viewed from two separate perspectives, one from an internal networking point of view and the other from an external networking point of view.
Consequently, in order to better protect your organization’s data, one needs to understand how data theft works. Therefore, let us first discuss how internal data pilfering occurs. Unsecured networks and access to confidential data to unauthorized employees and contingent staff is a recipe for data theft. Networks within an organization should be setup in a foolproof method, so that any possibilities of data theft should completely be eliminated. Data leaks can occur through USB ports, CD/DVD drives, email access, right to use sites that enable you to upload data, and through enabled file sharing through Wifi access. On the other hand, external threats coming from hackers can be prevented through investing in enterprise level antivirus software and securing sensitive data through data encryption software developed to lock folderscontaining such data.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cara W Morris is Marketing Manager at New Softwares.net, an Information Security company that specializes in developing award winning data security software that can lock folders.