Posted in: security, Special Report
It’s not often anyone suggests taking a page from the book of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, but the recent release of some digital documents from the architect of the Sept. 11 attacks offers some good lessons in just how not to store and manage your important and valuable data.
When special forces invaded bin Laden’s fortress in Pakistan, they scooped up a treasure trove of computer data that the globally-connected terrorism leader had accumulated over the years.
Only a fraction of 6000 documents seized have been made available on the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point website.
The 17 electronic documents, stored on USB sticks, memory cards and computer hard drives after US Navy Seals killed the terrorist chief in the May 2011 raid, were released in their original Arabic accompanied by English translations.
None of this would have been possible if the legendary “mastermind” of global terror had followed the most basic rule of sensitive data storage: Encrypt your data and protect the encryption with strong password protection.
It seems bin Laden was pretty good at hiding himself and his family, but really lousy at taking this most rudimentary precaution.
Finance managers know better than most how dangerous it can be for others to access your confidential data. The costs can be extraordinary in terms of lost business, customers, penalties and fines if your electronic archives are breached or made public.
There’s too much at stake to overlook this crucial step in data security.
For a recap of the documents discovered during the raid last spring, visit here.
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