The recent revelation that the personnel records of federal employees were accessed by international hackers is startling for a number of reasons, and the implications of such a hack extend far beyond the security of those employees. If the federal government is unable to keep its data secure from international hackers, how is it possible for the average organization or individual to feel safe that their personal data is not also at risk? According to Ian Andrews, home computers can be accessed by individuals intent on committing fraud, but there are measures that can be taken to aid in prevention.
The advice of Ian Andrews Leaf is to understand how to protect important personal information and to know what measures are necessary in maintaining security. Obviously, the data sought by international hackers in the federal data breach is likely much more sensitive than the data stored on most personal computers, but that data still has value and, as noted by Ian Andrews, scam and fraud can be conducted on a small scale in order to keep from being noticed. There are a number of programs available to protect personal information, and certain behaviors should be avoided in order to best protect against fraud.
As it relates to the international hackers, these are likely some of the brightest professionals capable of bypassing even the most advanced security systems. The time and effort necessary to conduct a hack so comprehensive is great, and there must be a significant benefit for completing a hack on such a large scale. It is because of this fact that individuals and organizations should consider the value of the information they possess and evaluate the lengths that a professional hacker would reasonably go in order to access that information. Data that is considered highly sensitive and clearly has a great deal of value should be thoroughly protected against such data breaches.
Of course, Ian Andrews of HFC points out that all data should be considered highly valuable and therefore worthy of significant security measures. It is simply a good practice to ensure that personal and professional data is thoroughly protected, as it is not always obvious what kind of information holds value to a hacker. This fact was made clear by federal officials who reminded federal employees that their information may still be valuable to hackers despite the fact that some of these employees have no access to classified information.