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Data Breaches Pain IT Executives

Red Flags to Pink Slips

Jersey City, NJ, December 17, 2009 - The US unemployment rate is so high that two US Senators have introduced the Employ America Act, aiming to cut back on alien workers hired on H1-B visas. With a 10%+ jobless rate, there is a lot of talented competition for work. If an IT executive loses a job because of a data breach, he or she might be out of work for a long time—without benefits.

IT executives at ChoicePoint, Inc., looked like heroes when they reacted swiftly to a potential data breach in 2005. More often, though, leaky data pipes lead to unpleasant consequences for the executives responsible: from public outrage to protests and unemployment. HackerGuardian from Comodo helps IT executives detect and prevent catastrophic data losses.

Consequences may be light. A public outcry at the Manchester City Council followed the announcement of the loss of two laptops containing personal information of about 1700 school employees. In June, 2009, the chief executive of the English municipal council promised to encrypt information on laptops henceforth.

Students at Binghamton University protested in March, 2009, when they learned that confidential records with personally identifying information had been stored in an unlocked closet. The demanded the removal of the University's Chief Information Security Officer.

The Chief Technology Officer of AOL resigned after the public learned that the company had voluntarily released the keyword search data of more than half a million Internet users in 2005. Workers, even executives, who resign or lose their jobs for cause may be ineligible for unemployment benefits.

By contrast, executives at ChoicePoint in the same year learned that criminals had attempted to harvest personal financial information of more than 163,000 in its database. "We discovered the nefarious activities ourselves and reported them to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, with whom we set up a sting operation that eventually led to the prosecution of a Nigerian crime ring," employee James E. Lee told the Harvard Business Review.

Nonetheless, the fallout was potentially embarrassing. Although ChoicePoint admitted no wrongdoing, it agreed to pay $10 million in civil penalties and $5 million in consumer redress to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that its security and record-handling practices violated consumers' privacy rights and federal laws. SC Magazine called it a "poster child for data-loss incidents."

Data leaks can either be minor public relations issues, or they can be full-blown disasters with calls for resignations and dismissals. An early warning system can make the difference. Comodo HackerGuardian scans networks at regular intervals, looking for leaks and intrusions, to help IT executives keep their networks, and their jobs, safe. To learn more, visit http://hackerguardian.com/

About Comodo
Comodo is a leading brand in Internet security, covering an extensive range of security software and services, including digital certificates, PCI scanning, desktop security, online faxing, and computer technical support services.

Businesses and consumers worldwide recognize Comodo as standing for security and trust. Comodo products secure and authenticate online transactions for over 200,000 businesses and have more than 18,000,000 installations of Comodo desktop security software, including an award-winning firewall and antivirus software offered at no charge.

The Comodo family of companies is committed to continual innovation, core competencies in PKI, authentication, and malware detection and prevention.  As a catalyst in eliminating online crime, the companies' mission is to establish a Trusted Internet.

With US headquarters overlooking Manhattan on New Jersey's waterfront, and global resources in United Kingdom, China, India, Ukraine, and Romania, Comodo products offer intelligent security, authentication, and assurance.

Comodo -- Creating Trust Online®. For more information, visit Comodo's website.

More Stories By Katharine Hadow

Katharine Hadow is a marketing communications professional in New Jersey, USA