Safeguarding sensitive data

IT administrators adopt new solutions to protect government-hosted information

     Users' understanding of appropriate versus inappropriate use was also heightened, making an example of the alleged data abusers and possibly thwarting a few from becoming an example themselves.

     Reforms to the Portal and policy to prevent future incidents are in development and the resource remains available to authorized users. But curiosity's lethal reach did in more than the cat this time: The alleged snooping led management to fire one trooper and open several internal investigations. A state probation officer is also facing termination as a result of running checks on neighbors. "I think that's one of the good things that's come out of this, is people ... have been reminded ... this is the real world out here folks, you can very easily lose [your integrity]," Walker says. "You lose your character, and you lose everything; you cannot be a law enforcement officer.

     In the end, the few bad apples seemed to spoil it for themselves: "It takes one brief moment of lapse in judgment to loose a career."

On the books

     According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, nearly all states and territories have legislation codifying data breach responsibilities and procedure. Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico and South Dakota do not have security breach notification laws as of December 2008. All other states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have codes or statutes requiring notification if personal information is breached.


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