eSecurity Planet reports that late last year, more than 15,000 Kaiser Permanente patients in Northern California had personal information that became exposed to identity theft by a stolen hard drive taken by a disgruntled employee. Last week, the patients were notified that their information, including dates of birth, home addresses and telephone numbers, and medical records were at risk of being shared with thieves after a Kaiser Permanente employee violated company security policy by storing patient files on a personal device and removing the data from the hospital.
In November 2009, a similar theft exposed the names and Social Security numbers of more than 60,000 soldiers and civilian personnel at the Army Corp of Engineers’ Southwestern Division in Dallas.
This theft could have easily been averted had Kaiser Permanente’s security procedures prevented the use of external storage devices from being used to download confidential information. Company data encryption and security can be used to prohibit this type of data replication from even occurring.
Companies like Capitol Asset Recycling’s data destruction and security division can be called upon by companies such as Kaiser Permanente for consulting advice on decreasing the probability of similar data breaches. Capitol Asset Recycling can also provide physical data destruction services by coming to corporate offices and government agencies with their mobile shredder to destroy hard drives, backup tapes, paper documents and other electronic media.
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