Data security is much broader than a technology concern for CIOs; it's a topic that's on the minds of many senior executives at U.S. corporations. From headlines about stolen data to federal regulations such as HIPAA to proposed Congressional legislation on data sharing and disclosure when a breach occurs, data security has become a front-burner issue for boardrooms and back-office data centers.Although many of the well-publicized incidents of large-scale data pilfering have involved hackers using computers to breach IT security, two recent incidents of stolen data occurred due to weak policies and procedures. In February, Bank of America confirmed that several data tapes were lost in transit to a backup data center. The tapes contained account and other personal information belonging to 1.2 million credit card holders that are employed by the U.S. General Services Administration.

Also in February, ChoicePoint Inc. revealed that fraudsters had established bogus small-business accounts and illegally purchased 145,000 records containing personal information such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, and abbreviated credit reports. No insurance data was stolen in the incident.

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