Of course, data breaches don't just affect the government. Businesses -- and as a result, their customers and employees -- continue to fall victim to data theft. Yet aside from offering a year of free credit monitoring, companies appear to be moving at a glacial pace to address the problem.
Trouble is, until we see some compliance legislation forcing companies to better protect users' private data, there's no real incentive for them to invest the time and money toward, perhaps, exploring encryption technology, improving security measures to limit what kind of data employees can carry around, and keeping a better tab on how partners are handling your sensitive data.
But there's really no excuse for the government not to get its act together, and to do it now. If the data of citizens, including veterans, is so easily accessible, who knows what other information malicious hackers and thieves might have access to. Securing our nation isn't just limited to having well-trained soldiers on the border, state-of-the-art jets in the sky, and satellites in space keeping tabs on enemies; not in the Internet Age.
Unfortunately, this hasn't become an election-year issue, so it's not garnering the attention it deserves from the powers-that-be. I recommend taking a moment to send a letter to your local reps, citing this report and telling them to do something about it now.
Or am I overreacting? Is the government doing enough to keep our data safe? What's the answer here? There's an interesting discussion group going on right now in InfoWorld's IT Exec-Connect community where this topic could be expanded on further.