Stolen USB drive compromises information of 3,000 individuals

May 28, 2014

The personal information of 2,963 members of a US healthcare provider has been compromised following the theft of a USB drive.

Humana, a company specialising in healthcare solutions, announced last week that an employee's car had been broken into. Among the items stolen were an encrypted laptop and an unencrypted USB drive, which included names, medical records and Social Security numbers.

While the laptop had the necessary security in place to prevent a data breach, the unencrypted USB drive presented an easy target.

"At this time, Humana has no reason to believe that the information has been used inappropriately," according to a Humana statement.

It's important that businesses take care to identify areas where security may be lacking, for example in computers and storage systems that lack the necessary encryption. This should be undertaken in addition to frequent security audits.

Physical data breaches are no less dangerous than cyber attacks, as the storage mediums for physical information are often lacking the appropriate security. Once an unencrypted flash drive or laptop has been stolen, there's often no way to discover the attacker.

Humana has since explained the nature of the breach to affected individuals, and offered free access to credit monitoring services.

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