Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ernst& Young Loses Laptops With Client Data

Once again, Ernst and Young have admitted to losing laptops containing sensitive client information.

On this occasion, four laptops were lost or stolen when a group of Ernst and Young employees left a client's offices to go to lunch on February 9, leaving their laptops in the company's conference rooms.

According to reports, minutes later two men entered the rooms, and carried off the four Dell computers valued at around 7,000 euros.

This kind of theft is of serious concern, as the consultancy's employees' laptops often contain confidential client information, such as Social Security numbers or other personal information, as in the previous case in which a laptop was stolen from an Ernst and Young employees' car.

In this case, one of the affected clients was Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, whose Social Security number was compromised in this incident.

It is not known what type of security Ernst & Young had implemented on the four missing laptops, although it maintains that the laptop in the previous case (with McNealy's information) was password protected.

In the event of the computers being recovered in this type of incident, it is important to run a full scan of the software as it could easily have been infected with malware.

Moreover, some type of unknown software could have been installed and therefore before using the computer, it should be scanned with a proactive system for detecting new malicious software.

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