Two of the worst cyber terrorists in the world were identified today by Addison, Texas-based security firm Credant Technologies. Their names? Stupidity and Carelessness.
According to a news release, "In the last year , 9000 USB sticks have been forgotten in people’s pockets as they take their clothes to be washed at the local dry cleaners.
The survey was carried out in the UK, to gauge the frequency and ease with which mobile devices such as USB and memory sticks are lost or forgotten in strange places such as dry cleaners and also as a warning to people across the globe to be vigilant when downloading information to carry around with them as it does frequently get lost. A similar survey was conducted by Credant Technologies last September amongst taxi drivers in London and New York, which showed that over 12,500 handheld devices such as laptops, iPods and memory sticks are forgotten at the back of taxis every 6 months!
Michael Callahan, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Credant Technologies, said "Although we conducted this survey in the UK, the idea was to show people everywhere how easy it is to lose data, even in their local dry cleaners and that none of us are infallible. We’re convinced if we were to do the same survey in the U.S., we’d get very similar results. If the data is sensitive or valuable then people should protect this information with encryption so no one can access the data at any point - as it could easily end up in the wrong hands."
A warning message to the business community and individuals to be vigilant when travelling with their mobile devices has never been more relevant, especially as many of these devices now have the capacity to store as much as 10,000 Word documents, 11,000 pictures, 500,000 contact details or an amazing 1.1 million emails, making them an obvious target for identity theft criminals and hackers who can steal this information and assume the identity of the user both in their personal or business life.
Dry cleaners in the suburbs, on the commuter belt or based in city centres find the most USB or memory sticks. One dry cleaner in the heart of the City of London said he is getting an average of 1 USB stick every 2 weeks, another said he had found at least 80 in the past year."
Check your pockets, people. It's your first line of defense.