July 11, 2008

Clearswift: Supreme Court Justice’s Personal Information Exposed in Breach Highlights Need for Data Protection

According to NBC4.com, in a July 9, 2008 story, (http://www.nbc4.com/news/16832357/detail.html),

"A Supreme Court justice's birthday and Social Security number were exposed on the Internet after a McLean, Va., investment firm employee used an online file-sharing network at his office.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's birthday and Social Security number, and records for about 2,000 other clients of Wagner Resource Group were stored in the company's private files. The data breach began late last year and ended shortly after a reader of a blog on washingtonpost.com discovered the information in June on LimeWire."

Clearswift believes that this event highlights the need for data loss protection.

"This article from NBC4.com underscores the need for data loss protection and prevention. Web 2.0 channels such as blogs and social networking sites have multiplied the number of 'back doors' by which confidential data can leak out of an organization. Most organizations don't realize just how vulnerable data is until an event like this occurs," said Mike Lisi, general manager of North America for Clearswift. "The cost of facing an event like this in real dollars and bad publicity can be astronomical. This story shows that organizations both large and small need to take a close look at protecting sensitive information that is shared across networks."

Today, most organizations use anti-virus tools to defend against malware and URL filtering to defend against inappropriate Web surfing. With the many Web 2.0 technologies, this is not enough security. Businesses need products that provide deep content inspection and Web filtering in the same way solutions are used for e-mail.

According to a recent poll sponsored by Clearswift in the US, 19 percent of organizations suffered a data loss in the last 12-18 months, and of those, 50 percent had experienced more than one. Despite the fact that more than 89 percent of those surveyed said that data loss/data breach was a very important or critical issue to their organizations, the research indicated that they are still not locking down the transfer of sensitive information appropriately.

"Our polls show that data loss is a critical issue and this story underscores the importance of addressing the problem. With 89 percent of organizations saying it is important, and 50 percent of companies having experienced more than one breech, it is clear that companies need to look at solutions that are affordable, easy to use and that keep the right information safe," added Lisi.

Clearswift's content security technologies help companies monitor all content leaving their organization via e-mail and the Internet, preventing any confidential information reaching the outside world, whether sent accidentally or maliciously. At the same time, Clearswift can protect organizations from spam, viruses, spyware and Web-borne malware, as well as help define and enforce policies on acceptable Internet usage.

Lisi added, "Data loss and data breaches, whether intentional or not, cause harm to organizations. Companies need to make sure they have looked at all the ways sensitive information can be exposed. This story shows that privileged information for anyone can be exposed. Monitoring all content leaving the business and simultaneously managing multiple outlets is by far the most successful solution."

About Clearswift

Clearswift helps organizations of all sizes conduct business safely over the Internet.

Our policy-based content filtering and security solutions block bad content such as spam, viruses, malware, spyware and pornography; protect sensitive information by preventing leaks; and prevent time-wasting and abuse by controlling inappropriate use of the Web and social media while eliminating exposure to offensive content.

Clearswift makes it easy to deploy, manage and maintain no-compromise e-mail and Web security across all gateways and in all directions. And our EAL4 accredited military and government solutions protect some of the world's most security-sensitive organizations.

Our technology reflects 20 years of experience across more than 17,000 organizations with a pedigree based upon granular policy management; easy administration; and the ability to combine best-of-breed security tools into powerful, no-compromise defenses.

Clearswift customers use the Internet with confidence. www.clearswift.com