As Identity Theft Grows, Companies Must Do More

By Samuel Greengard
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    As Identity Theft Grows, Companies Must Do More

    As Identity Theft Grows, Companies Must Do More

    With incidents of identity theft growing rapidly, companies need to strengthen safeguards to protect the personal information of their customers and employees.

One of the sad and disturbing realities of the modern world is the growing incidence of identity theft. Organizations and individuals are learning that despite earnest precautions and protections, breaches are unavoidable. A recent report from digital security firm Gemalto offers disturbing insights into how things are evolving—or perhaps, more appropriately, devolving. The report "2016: It's All About Identity Theft" examined activity during the first half of the year and found that data breaches are rising steadily, and the severity of incidents is also ticking upward. "Over the past 12 months, hackers have continued to go after both low-hanging fruit and unprotected sensitive personal data that can be used to steal identities," noted Jason Hart, vice president and chief technology officer for Gemalto. "The theft of user names and account affiliations may be irritating for consumers, but the failure of organizations to protect sensitive personal information and identities is a growing problem that will have implications for consumer confidence in the digital services and companies they entrust with their personal data. At the end of the day, the best way to protect data is to [ensure] user credentials are secured with strong authentication, and sensitive data is protected with encryption so it is useless to the thieves."

This article was originally published on 2016-10-28
Samuel Greengard writes about business and technology for Baseline, CIO Insight and other publications. His most recent book is The Internet of Things (MIT Press, 2015).
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