The "whys" of data access management are as far-reaching as the technology used to manage it.According to New York-based Ernst & Young LLC, regulatory compliance is the No. 1 driver of insurance industry information security. However, the devastating consequences of other incidents, from breaches to simple human error, can't be dismissed.

Consider the dilemma faced by Minneapolis-based Ameriprise Financial, Inc., forced recently to tell its shareholders that the theft of a single laptop resulted in the potential exposure of 158,000 client names and account identification information. And although analysts predict that Prudential Financial Inc.'s insurance group, Newark, N.J., will not be held accountable for 15 month's worth of sensitive data being misrouted to the wrong location, the damage control needed may require considerable effort.

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