Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Size of Breach Can Affect ID Theft Risk

In what has been touted as the only comprehensive study performed of data security breaches and incidents of subsequent identity thefts, it was concluded that there is a greater risk of identity theft where an individual or small group is intentionally targeted by identity thieves. In the case of a large data breach, such as the recent theft of backup files of state of Ohio employees and taxpayers, it can be difficult for a fraudster to go through the list, and the publicity of the theft can also serve as a deterrant, since the potential victims have been notified and can closely monitor their bank accounts and credit information for evidence of theft. ID Analytics, an identity-risk management services company, conducted the study of four sizeable data security breaches. According to an article in The Insurance Journal, the study found that among the 500,000+ consumer identities who were victims of the breaches, less than one-tenth of 1% of those persons were also victims of identity theft. Where the theft of data is incidental to the theft of other property such as electronic equipment, the risk of misuse of the data is reduced substantially. However, ID Analytics points out that there remains the risk that the data will be sold on the black market overseas, where sophisticated means are available to retrieve and misuse the data.
>The Insurance Journal

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