Blog: Laptop theft highlights security gap
Leonie Barrie | 1 October 2007
The theft of a laptop containing the personal information of around 800,000 people who have applied for jobs at Gap Inc raises more questions than answers. For instance, why was this data kept on a laptop in the first place? And why wasn’t it encrypted?
Security experts suggest such sensitive information should be stored only on secure centralized servers – but even this isn’t foolproof. Earlier this year the TJX Companies disclosed that at least 45.7m of its customers’ credit and debit card numbers were stolen from databases in 2005 and 2006, after hackers broke into its systems.
Gap says it has no reason to believe the data contained on the computer was the target of the theft or that the personal information has been accessed or used improperly. But if the person who took the laptop wasn’t aware of its value at the time, they are now.
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