IRS loses 490 laptops

Between January of 2003, and June of 2006, the Inspector General for the Treasury Department found that 490 laptops were missing. Many of these computers had unencrypted personal data on them. Another oops. What’s interesting is that 111 of these 490 were stolen right out of IRS facilities and apparently many off-site backup facilities did not uphold user access processes to lock out retired or other types of ex-employees.
This goes back to the issue of poor asset management. It doesn’t take too much to train employees to lock it down. In the corporate world, such violations would result in an immediate firing if found to be due to employee’s neglect of process. Locking laptops in cabinets or desktops with secure cable locks or microdots, would be very simple to implement.
Unfortunately, what’s worse is the fact that identity theft could be the result of such stolen property. Talk about a really big ick…. especially if you found out that you got ID thefted because the IRS wasn’t careful with your tax documents.
Via ArsTechnica