Full Speed Ahead: Business-Minded I.T. Security Risk Management

"Wincup V8 Vodafone Holden Smashed.. Taken on December 4, 2010. (c) 2010 All rights reserved. Courtesy of Dhatt Creative.

Recent massive data breaches lead us to discuss the movement for new thinking, new strategies and new leadership amongst IT security. In the new paradigm, flat-out prevention is no longer the goal. Companies need to pursue nuanced risk-management decisions that protect yet allow them to do business.

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The State of the State: U.S. Government Data Breaches

"Head in Hands" by Alex E. Proimos. Shot on December 14, 2009 at Monnaie, Paris, France. Available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/4199675334/. Published under a Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0) license.

Government data breaches run the gamut, but recently we are hearing about years-old security vulnerabilities that are not discovered by the government agencies themselves, but by outsiders. Plus, a review of the broad numbers regarding U.S. government data breaches of the past four years.

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Towards a New Personal Data Breach Notification Framework in the EU

The European Commission published recently a Proposal for a Regulation on personal data protection. If adopted, it would repeal the 1995 Data Protection Directive. The Proposal includes a new data security framework: both the data controller and the data processor would have to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures in order to ensure that data is secure; a personal data breach would have to be reported within 24 hours to the supervisory authority, and also, without undue delay, to the data subject if the breach would adversely affect his personal data or privacy. We comment some of the pending issues.

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ENISA Surveys Stakeholders of Upcoming EU Data Breach Notification Regime

"Grillage gelé" (Photo by "Photophilius"; shot on Dec. 13, 2008). Available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/30254220@N04/3116313871/ (Creative Commons "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)" license.)

The European Network and Information Security Agency has recently published a report on data breach notifications in the European Union. ENISA surveyed data protection authorities, telecommunications regulatory authorities and telecom operators from different countries in the EU, but also from other non-EU countries such as the United States.
Using the various stakeholders’ responses, the report helps understand the practices and challenges of the future mandatory data breach notification regime, and aims to assist public authorities and private organizations in the EU as they implement data breach notification policies by providing a set of recommendations.
(Résumé aussi disponible en français)

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Will France adopt a law requiring the notification of security breaches?

A French bill “to better guarantee the right to privacy in the digital age” has implemented the European Directive 2009/136/EC by requiring the data controller to inform the “Data Protection Correspondent” (a person within an organization who could be the controller or someone assisting the controller), or in the absence thereof, the French data protection authority (the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés), of a breach of integrity or confidentiality. Those involved in the breach must also be informed, at least if security breaches are “likely to adversely affect” their personal data. The bill follows the recommendation of the Directive to notify individuals of security breaches for all sectors, not just electronic communications. It was adopted by the French Senate on March 24, 2010 and is currently before the National Assembly.
(A French version of this article is also available in this blog.)

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Article 29 Data Protection Working Party reports on implementation of Data Retention Directive

The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party has adopted on July 13, 2010 a report on the EU Data Retention Directive (2006/24/EC). This report is the Working Party’s contribution to the evaluation of the implementation of the Data Retention Directive by the European Commission, which is due by September 15, 2010. The report details the results of a joint inquiry made by the data protection authorities about the compliance, at the national level, with the obligations of telecom providers and Internet service providers with both the Data Retention Directive and articles 6 and 9 of the EU e-Privacy Directive (2002/58/EC).

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Are ‘clouds’ located outside the European Union unlawful?

A central aspect of every cloud service contract is the security of data processing. It is therefore important, if only for liability reasons, that responsibility for specific security measures be clearly assigned. This can be done by using security service level agreements between the cloud service provider and its client that clearly assign who is responsible for which particular security measure.
Storing data in a cloud located outside the EU raises specific legal compliance issues. According to some experts, such clouds are even unlawful. There are, however, some ways to make sure that, even if a data controller stores data into a cloud located in a third country, he is still in compliance with German data protection law. A data exporter must use, in order to satisfy the adequate level of data protection requirement, specific standard contractual clauses for all contracts with a cloud service company located outside the EU. Binding corporate rules are the alternative solution, though only for private clouds.

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