Posts Tagged ‘weymouth’

Data Security News: Is Your Personal Online Information Safe?

Data thieves are becoming smarter and harder to track every year. Recently, a school district in Arizona reported a major security breach in which 2.4 million people were affected. If that wasn’t bad enough, it took the Maricopa County Community College District seven months to notify those individuals.

According to a report from AZCentral.com, those impacted were current and former students as well as employees and vendors. Here are a few snippets from the article:

The district’s governing board has already approved several million dollars for repairs, which are still being made, and on Tuesday agreed to spend up to $7 million more to notify everyone who is potentially affected, spokesman Tom Gariepy said Wednesday.

Letters will be sent to current and former students, employees and vendors of the district’s 10 colleges going back at least several years to alert them that their information could have been seen, Gariepy said.

Among the vulnerable data were employees’ Social Security numbers, driver’s-license numbers and bank-account information, he said.

Students’ academic information also may have been exposed, but not their personal information.

There is no evidence that any information actually was looked at or stolen, Gariepy said.

According to the article, the district was notified by the FBI when they discovered a website that was advertising personal data from the districts database for sale.  Measures were taken immediately to stop the spread of the information (the site was shut down), but their reasoning for it taking so long to report was that the district wanted to investigate the extent of the exposure.

In the meantime the Maricopa Community Colleges Faculty Association released a statement saying they will do what is necessary to adequately protect students and MCCCD employees, now and in the future. Last week, a $7 million notification process was approved by the district governing board Tuesday night.

The money will go to an outside consultant, who will send the notification letters to everyone whose information was exposed. It just goes to show how severe a breach can be in relation to data exposure and cost of cleanup and repair.  Ongoing risk assessments and audits would have caught the obvious weak points in their network and could have avoided all of this.  Also, being properly insured for this type of disaster would have helped to offset the $7 million+ it will cost to rectify this situation.

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your dataPC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

08

12 2013

Data Destruction: Learning from the NHS Surrey’s data breach scandal

Over at the Guardian UK, there’s a great article on what public and private agencies can learn from the recent data breach scandal in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

According to the Guardian, NHS Surrey was fined £200,000 last month by data regulators after losing sensitive information about 3,000 patients. Turns out they failed to check that the data destruction company charged with getting the computers ready for recycling had properly destroyed the records. The data destruction company passed on data (via Ebay), believing that crushing hard drives was enough to permanently erase the NHS computers.

Approaching the news as a lesson, author Moradeyo Komolafe offers up three things that businesses can do right now to avoid this type of data breach.

1. If the hardware is functioning, buy reputable erasure software:

This is software that meets government data deletion standards. It will permanently wipe all traces of data, and can be bought and downloaded online. The better erasure software not only permanently wipes all traces of data, but also provides erasure verification reports and a detailed audit trail for legal compliance.

2. For non-functioning computers, buy or rent a degausser to eliminate data

3. If a DIY solution is not an option, find a reliable asset disposal services:

A Google search will reveal many companies offering their services, but finding a reliable one requires you to ask the company if it employs engineers for the job and whether they have security clearance accredited by recognised bodies. Also ask the supplier to provide references or case studies for erasure products and services.

The NHS Surrey scandal is a reminder to organisations that if company data isn’t destroyed during the asset disposal or recycling process, even after it has left the organisation, they will still be in breach of the Data Protection Act. For the sake of the organisation’s reputation and the safety of employees – and in some cases patients – make sure the data deletion process is done properly and completed professionally.

Speaking of reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data

20

08 2013

Responsible data destruction done right

PCS of Massachusetts CEO Lisa DiPaolo Bacewicz and her husband Charles.Courtesy Photo / Wicked Local / Chris Bernstein

PCS of Massachusetts CEO Lisa DiPaolo Bacewicz and her husband Charles.
Courtesy Photo / Wicked Local / Chris Bernstein

PC Survivors CEO Lisa DiPaolo Bacewicz was interviewed last week by WickedLocal.com reporter Mary Jane Hanron, in which she spoke about starting the business with her husband Charles, the burgeoning market for data destruction and electronics recycling and working with major clients like schools and hospitals in Massachusetts.

The electronic recycling and data destruction field is reasonably new and continuingly evolving as more businesses are using electronic record keeping and upgrading hardware, Bacewicz said in the article.

“Today there is so much to know,” she said. “We review the inner workings of each piece of equipment breaking it down to materials that can be sorted and resold. Data must be removed from hardware and managed with the utmost care. These days it is nearly impossible to believe if you do not use professionals whether confidential information will wind up in the hands of a criminal.”

Bacewicz also discussed how their small business has grown to work with 17 major hospitals and health settings throughout New England.

Their clientele also includes the Town of Marshfield and Marshfield Public Schools, both of which use the service as part of the town’s commitment to responsible recycling and waste disposal.

Bacewicz explained profits are generated as raw or deconstructed materials are sorted and sold to vendors. The process is manually intensive and time consuming, yet lucrative.

Using the example of a college student requesting the secure destruction of a collage laptop, Bacewicz mentioned the growing demand for her services and the importance her work holds. As items are deconstructed she explained the company is left with batteries, plastics, wire, mercury, other chemicals and toxic wastes and materials that would never be reused if placed in a dumpster. Her business sells the scraps of material to buyers who in turn recycle the pieces recreating new merchandise from the once useless remnants.

For the entire article, head over to the Marshfield Mariner website.

 

20

06 2013

National Guard honors electronic recycler PC Survivors

National Guard honors PCS company

PCS of Massachusetts CEO Lisa DiPaolo Bacewicz admist the current stream of electronics in the process of being recycled at her 7500 Sq. ft. facility in Weymouth.

PC Survivors of Weymouth was recently given the Patriot Award, which is given to businesses by the Department of Defense Guard and Reserve to recognize extraordinary support of an employee who serves in the National Guard. The orginal article appeared in the Marshfield Mariner last week.

The Weymouth-based business, PC Survivors of MA, LCC, owned by Marshfield residents Lisa and Charles Bacewicz, employs about a dozen young professionals. One of them is Etzer Aunaxe of Brockton, a member of the National Guard who serves monthly and at times during the year for stretches of several weeks.

Aunaxe takes both his National Guard and private employment responsibilities seriously, Lisa said. When he was hired, Lisa said he was open with his potential supervisors about the occasional constraints of his commitment to national service.

“We never gave it a second thought,” said Lisa. “We believed allowing him to go was the right thing to do and a way we could, in a small way, support the causes of the nation. We also knew that by hiring an experienced guardsman, we got so much more in expertise, skill, loyalty, dedication and trustworthiness.”

20

06 2013