The Identity Theft Resource Center put together a report of data breaches that occurred in 2014. It sourced incidences that were covered by multiple media platforms including the attorney general's office, radio, TV and press. The 404 breaches led to the exposure of over 11 million records. Is the convenience of the digital revolution worth the risk?
A data breach is when information like name, banking information, address, telephone number and more privately kept items are exposed. It can come in many forms. Sometimes a business will accidentally send an email to the incorrect recipient. In other instances hackers trespass into computer infrastructure like a burglar entering a home. In some instances, fraudsters, people who pose as someone they are not, set up fake websites that mirror real websites. For example, fraudsters can post pages that look identical or very similar to a payment page for a website like EBay or Target. Once the transaction is complete, the money is redirected into a fake account and does not make it to the destination that was intended by the buyer.
The widely known Heartbleed bug security breach debatably created the biggest vulnerability on the Internet. An article written by Christina Warren, published on Mashable in late June stated 300,000 computers were still affected by the bug. It was passive and wasn't discovered for two years.
"Heartbleed, as you may recall, is the name for the massive OpenSSL exploit that left huge portions of the web vulnerable. The way Heartbleed works, attackers could grab important information from a vulnerable server, including encryption keys that could unlock access to usernames, passwords and other data that should be encrypted.The ITRC report included health care, finance, education, retail and several other industries, emphasizing the severity of the issue. Although the majority of the attacks were over the Web, some of them were through the postal service. Print may not be in the spotlight as much as digital but vital information can be exposed there as well," wrote Warren.
Increased attacks to cyberspace but print is not immune
According to the source, almost 50,000 children's medical cards were mistakenly mailed to wrong addresses. There are ways to lessen the odds of a big mistake occurring with print records. Fraud resistance is important and applicable to several verticals. Having hospital records, college transcripts and titles of ownership stolen could have detrimental consequences. Security features for print products are featured on the United States Government and Printing Office website.
• Watermark security papers are the highest level of security available for non-custom print items. The DocuCheck Watermark surpasses standards imposed by the American National Standards Institute. The DocuCheck Ghost prevents counterfeiting.
• Invisible fibers on a document support authenticity and prevent duplication.
• A 'swiper' pen can be used on certain high-quality, secure print items. Marking the document with the special pen will leave a distinct temporary color.
The media coverage of cyber threats, combined with data exposure through a print medium and proposed and passed legislation, supports the importance of security products.