Two former University of Central Missouri students have been charged with computer hacking and identity theft.
Daniel J. Fowler, 21, of Kansas City, and Joseph A. Camp, 26, a New York resident, each face charges of conspiracy, fraud, computer intrusion, illegal interception of electronic communications and aggravated identity theft.
Camp has also been charged with trying to sell the personal information of more than 90,000 people to an undercover FBI agent.
For three months, beginning in October 2009, the duo hacked into the university’s computer network and downloaded large databases of faculty, staff, alumni and student information.
Data breaches such as this are becoming more and more common, and many of them aren’t even reported. What happens if you become a victim? Should you be worried? Here are some things to consider.
Seventy percent of all data breaches come from an attack by an external third party. This includes system hacks or intercepting e-mail. The variety and creativity of cyber criminals is greater than ever.
Seventy-five percent of all mid-size companies in America cut their security budgets in 2009 – but criminals don’t suffer during a recession; instead, they thrive. If you’re a small or medium-size business owner, don’t assume you won’t be hit. Thieves know businesses this size are an easy target.
The No. 1 cause of data breaches is human error. Forty-eight percent of all breaches occurred as the result of misuse, compared to 40 percent due to direct hacking. If businesses recognized this and acted accordingly, it would likely cut the number of data breaches by 50 percent.
Simple or intermediary controls would make 96 percent of all data breaches avoidable. But this doesn’t mean businesses must adopt complicated solutions to keep their data safe – simple basic protection would suffice.
Data loss can affect any business at any time. But the vast majority appear to be due to lax controls and the resulting human error. Human error isn’t necessarily something you can ever get rid of, but you can protect your business’ data so that should it be lost, misplaced or intercepted, the confidential business and client information won’t be compromised.