This month, the FBI and the Computer Security Institute (CSI) released the results of their most recent annual Computer Crime and Security Survey. And some of the findings should cause life science companies to re-examine their security procedures, software, and systems to make sure new threats are not hazardous to their organization's well being.
For instance, 47 percent of the 616 respondents said their organization had experienced laptop thefts within the last 12 months. This phenomenon is on the rise. For example, an April article in the San Francisco Chronicle noted that the number of laptops stolen in the city had nearly tripled from 2004 to last year and that thieves increasingly are staking out coffee shops to steal laptops when customers were distracted or stepped away from their table.
Boy, I am tired of reading about data theft that could be prevented with only the simplest safeguards. If you have to pee while tapping away at Starbucks, take your notebook with you. Or invest in a cheap cable lock. Or best of all, don't go tooling around with PHI or other sensitive data on your portable devices.