6/30/2008: Sensitive Data of 500,000 German Citizens Openly Available on the Web

Sensitive Data of 500,000 German Citizens Openly Available on the Web

15 German municipalities have given data thieves a real cause for celebration: Because of their administrative shortcomings the registration data of approximately 500,000 German citizens was available on the internet without any protection. The data included information on names, addresses, and religion. A comprehensive encryption approach as is implemented in ARTEC’s archive appliance EMA® could have helped to avoid the error.

Restricted access alone does not suffice to protect sensitive data. That is the lesson learned by a case of 15 German municipalities: As Spiegel Online reports, their sloppiness had led to the data of about 500,000 German citizens being more or less openly available on the web. By an accident, the standard user data to access the restricted area had been available on the web. And because no one at the respective municipalities had bothered to reset the standard user data, access to the sensitive data was virtually effortless.

The case once more demonstrates that sensitive data should not be left to chance and that the human factor must be taken into account. That is why ARTEC’s archive appliance EMA® relies on a comprehensive security concept to automatically encrypt e-mail-data so that a case such as this would not have happened.