How is a Laptop like a Willy Wonka "Golden Ticket" for ID theft?

One would have to be spending a lot of time under a rock to not be aware of the loss and recovery one of the Veteran Administration's laptops. The now former employee was probably a dedicated staffer who took his job seriously and unfortunately, also literally took his work home with him. That got me to thinking about the risks at my institution and I suspect we will be making some changes over the next few months. Here's another recent theft that occurred at HEd. institution. Our future direction will no doubt include many of the suggestions found here.

security, higher education, university, college

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About ken

Ken is the Director of MIS and Instructional Technology at Plymouth State University where he enjoys the opportunity to work with energetic, intelligent, motivated, competent and caring colleagues to advance the integration of technology into the institutional academic and administrative environments in the effort to promote a more informed citizenry.

2 thoughts on “How is a Laptop like a Willy Wonka "Golden Ticket" for ID theft?

  1. Of course the easy solution is Mac OS X which offers the one-click option to encrypt your entire home directory (and other nice security features.)

    FileVault keeps your documents secure even if your computer is lost or stolen, by
    storing them in encrypted form in your home directory—preventing unauthorized
    users, applications, or utilities from reading them. With FileVault enabled, all the information in your home directory is always encrypted. By logging in and authenticating, you provide the key to access your encrypted documents. Documents are decrypted on the fly as you open them and re-encrypted as you save them to disk.

    FileVault encrypts files with the robust Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the
    same cryptography technology recommended by the federal government to secure
    sensitive documents. AES uses a 128-bit key length, which means there are 3.4 x 1038
    possible keys for FileVault. In addition, AES relies on a symmetric key cryptographic
    algorithm that turns the data into cipher text using a four-step transformation process.
    It performs this transformation 10 times. The result of each pass serves as the origin
    of the next pass, yielding an encrypted block of data with no known successful
    method of attack.

    Any security-minded IT organization who isn't seriously considering Mac OS X is not seeing the real issues.

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