How to Manage the Growing Threat to Confidential Information Security

By Peter Goldmann President, FraudAware Hospitality | March 31, 2010

The news headlines are chock full of accounts of massive volumes of confidential corporate information being stolen, including customer credit card data, medical records, Social Security numbers, corporate trade secrets, trademarked and copyrighted intellectual property and more.

The results of these attacks, though hard to accurately measure in dollars and cents, are nonetheless devastating for both the victimized company and the customers, employees and contractors whose personal identifying data is stolen.

In the largest theft of confidential information ever, the apparel retailer, TJX Inc., had its databases attacked by outside hackers to the tune of over 45 million retail transaction records, involving countless numbers of credit and debit card files. The company may be counting its losses for years to come, as...

And then, of course, there is the innocent consumers whose stolen credit card information is used to commit identity fraud and are forced to endure the painstaking and often frustrating process of restoring the integrity of their credit histories.

What Can Be Done?

The TJX incident is just one of untold thousands of similar cyber-attacks hitting companies in all industries, including hospitality. While there is no silver bullet to unfailingly safeguard data sought by hackers-both outside and within the organization-there are some essential steps all companies should take to at least minimize their vulnerability to information theft.

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