By Mel Duvall  |  Posted 2003-03-06 Print this article Print

When an IBM subsidiary set out to refurbish computers storing data for clients, no one could have anticipated the drama that would follow when a pocket-sized, 30-gigabyte hard drive was reported missing in January.

-Operators Base Case">
Co-Operators Base Case

Headquarters: Priory Square, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1H 6P8

Phone: (519) 824-4400

Business: One of Canada's largest full-line insurance providers

Chief Executive Officer: Kathy Bardswick

Financials: US$1.4 billion in revenues 2001, US$20.2 million profit

Challenge: Co-operators Life division hires ISM Canada to compile policy statements for life insurance and pensions. In January, it learned that a hard drive containing personal data on 176,000 of its clients was missing


  • Assemble pre-established 12-member emergency response team within 24 hours of security breach report
  • Respond to all customers by mail within 48 hours and set up call center to handle follow-up inquiries
  • Avoid future exposure of clients' personal data whether it is maintained internally or handled by outside vendors

Contributing Editor
Mel Duvall is a veteran business and technology journalist, having written for a variety of daily newspapers and magazines for 17 years. Most recently he was the Business Commerce Editor for Interactive Week, and previously served as a senior business writer for The Financial Post.


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