The Cloud May Reduce Data Breaches

Over one-third of data breaches from 2005 through 2011 were the result of portable and stationary devices being discarded, lost or stolen

Analyzing information made available by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) a significant portion of data breaches each year could be avoided if organizations would adopt secure cloud-based strategies for data storage and email services.

Summary of Data Breaches

As shown in the pie-chart below, many data breaches occured due to electronic devices and storage media being discarded, lost and stolen.

Encryption and Secure Cloud Services

Many data breaches could be avoided by implementing strong encrypting on all stationary and portable devices. However, that is not always a practical solution.

An increasingly practical and more secure solution is to use SaaS (Software as a Service), with data residing in a secure private cloud; and to use secure cloud-based email hosting and archiving. Since data is not stored on the device itself, if the device is lost or stolen the user can simply change their password and prevent further exposure.

Additionally, some services (like our premium edition hosted email) include a "remote wipe" function that allows the account administrators to factory reset smartphones, PDAs, etc. if they fall into the wrong hands.

Organizations like financial institutions, health-care providers and law firms can now also take advantage of secure and affordable cloud-based email encryption.

No matter what data loss prevention strategy an organization chooses, other critical factors, such as employee training and GPS tracking, can also help mitigate data loss. There are many articles online that provide tips on implementing a complete cloud-based strategy.

Categories of Data Breaches

The following table includes descriptions of the different types of data breaches on PRC's site and in the pie-chart above.

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We are planning to dig deeper into this data set to see what else it might reveal.

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PRC did not participate in this analysis and nothing in this article is meant to imply any endorsement by PRC.