Second security breach hits Pfizer
Another cock-up at Viagra manufacturer
Personal details of workers at pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have been exposed to potential theft for the second time in two months.
The latest security cock-up involving the Viagra maker concerns the theft of two laptops containing details of 950 Pfizer contract workers from the car of an employee of consulting firm Axia. The machines were turned off and password protected but data on their hard discs was not encrypted. Information on the laptops contained the names and social security numbers of workers at the drug firm, among other things.
The theft of the laptops occurred on 31 May but Pfizer only wrote to workers on 21 July, following an investigation.
News of the slip-up follows two months after it emerged that personal information on more than 17,000 current and former employees at the pharmaceutical giant leaked onto a P2P network. Unauthorised installation of a P2P package on a company laptop led to the exposure of worker data, presumably after a directory holding the information was inadvertently offered up for sharing. Casual use of file sharing by the spouse of an unnamed Pfizer worker was blamed for the breach.
Workers were notified of the P2P breach on 1 June around six weeks after the fact. The breach prompted Pfizer attorney Bernard Nash to send letters to attorneys generals in states where potentially hit workers reside. The Connecticut Attorney General's Office followed up this letter with requests for more information about the breach, which affected 305 Pfizer workers who are resident in the state. Richard Blumenthal expressed concerns about the time Pfizer took to notify workers about the breach
The continued dialogue between Blumenthal and Nash over the issue led to public disclosure of the laptop theft breach. Pfizer has promised to offer affected workers a years free credit monitoring in the case of both breaches. ®
Simply Put "CODB"
Yet another fact of the "Cost Of Doing Business" mentality and attitude toward information and data security. Unfortunately for the public, most private companies, as well as a large number of public organizations are ran by people who believe data security is an unnecessary expense and a business inhibitor. And many are the same companies that lobby against government regulations to enforce due diligence and prudent behavior. Nothing will ever change until the financial cost of being negligent out ways the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for implementing security best practices. Where are the “ambulance chasers” and class action lawsuits when you need them?
This is plain and simple idiocy
Another STUPID company that lets employees put confidential information on laptops. I really don't care whether or not it was encrypted, the simple matter is that CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION NEEDS TO BE ON SECURE SERVERS!!!
Yes, even a supposedly "secure" installation can have leaks. But if you do things right ...
We need data security laws that really and truly punish these kinds of things.
Password protected? Bah, I'm an incompetent hardware hack and it would take me six, maybe seven minutes.
Next time try 1/2 a pill... XP User :-)
A Dream of a Blue Pill to Demonstrate/Push to the Exclusively Male Orientated Fraternity? Or is it already a star turn?.