The parade of large-scale data losses is continuing unabated. The latest incident involves an unencrypted Flash drive containing the personal information of more than 100,000 adult education students in Virginia.
The drive was lost late last month and no one seems to have found it yet. According to Brian Krebs of The Washington Post, the drive holds records for 103,000 people who completed adult education classes in Virginia recently.
A Virginia Education Department employee handed off an un-encrypted two-gigabyte flash drive during a Sept. 21 meeting in Richmond to a representative of Virginia Tech’s Center for Assessment, Evaluation and Educational Programming. The information was to be used for federally mandated research.
Pyle said it is against agency policy to transfer sensitive information without encrypting it.
It’s against policy in a lot of organizations to transfer data without encrypting it, but it certainly happens often enough. Encryption is seen by some users as a burden, a roadblock to moving data around wherever they want it. So policies are ignored and sensitive data ends up floating around the streets in the clear.