Hotel chain Marriott announced last week that they lost backup tapes containing
personal information on more than 206,000 customers. The missing tapes hold credit
card data, Social Security numbers, and, in some cases, bank information on customersof Marriott's time-share division, Marriott Vacation Club International.
Marriott's data debacle underscores the danger of internal
threats. The 2005 CSI/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey reported that "Inside
jobs occur as often as external attacks." Whether the missing tapes were
simply misplaced or stolen for financial gain, Marriott's IT department shouldseriously reevaluate and adjust their data security measures.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.