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Online Trust Alliance Releases 2013 Data Protection and Breach Readiness Guide -- 242.6 Million Records Breached Last Year

Online Trust Alliance Releases 2013 Data Protection and Breach Readiness Guide -
- 242.6 Million Records Breached Last Year 
Public & Private Leaders Join OTA in Sharing Best Business Practices
to Increase Privacy Controls, Secure Data and Enhance Online Trust 
SEATTLE, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/28/13 --  Recognizing the
importance of privacy and data protection, the Online Trust Alliance
(OTA), a non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust, today
announced a series of town hall meetings and the release of the OTA
2013 Data Protection & Breach Readiness Guide in recognition of Data
Privacy Day (DPD). 
OTA's analysis of more than 1,470 data loss incidents worldwide
tracked by the Open Security Foundation reveals that an astounding
242.6 million records were exposed in 2012, yet more than 97% of the
incidents could have been avoided by implementing simple steps and
following best practices and internal controls. While businesses
typically focus on external threats, 26% of the reported breaches
were the result of employee threats or accidental disclosures,
indicating a need for more internal controls and employee training. 
"I believe Americans have a fundamental right to privacy: to know
what information is being collected about them and to be able to
control whether or not that information can be shared with third
parties," said U.S. Sen. Al Franken. "As the chairman of the Senate
subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, it's my job to make
sure that our nation's laws keep pace with technology. I'm proud to
call the Online Trust Alliance a valuable ally, because I've seen how
effectively they work within the business community to try to make
sure consumers can trust the companies they interact with." 
"For many businesses, data is an increasingly vital asset," said
Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen. "Companies need to
protect their customers' personal information from theft that can
hurt customers and harm the business's reputation. Because breaches
may still occur even in the most security-conscious companies,
however, it is also critical to have a plan for responding to data
breaches before they happen. Putting together a response plan now may
help reduce the impact of a data breach on a business and its
customers later."  
As society continues to become tethered to mobile devices which
collect greater amounts of data including unique identifiers and
location data, users are mostly unaware of what data is being
collected, how it is being used and who has access to it.
Increasingly data incidents and identity theft are occurring through
accidental device loss and increased targeting by cybercriminals. 
"As citizens increasingly rely on the Internet for their personal and
business lives, businesses are looking to implement safeguards to
enhance the protection of their data from abuse and potential
identity theft," said Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
"Working together, we can assist businesses and implement voluntary
best practices to help protect consumers from harm while holding
cybercriminals accountable. The efforts outlined by OTA are important
steps towards reaching this goal."  
The recovery costs to businesses as a result of a breach are
staggering at more than $8 billion in 2012. The Town Hall meetings
and Guide provide a framework that addresses issues that can help
businesses protect their data and prepare for a data loss incident. 
"Organizations of all sizes and in both the public and private
sectors have an obligation to make privacy and data protection part
of their value proposition. Being stewards of data and having a
comprehensive data breach plan is the responsibility of every
executive, who otherwise puts consumers, employees, companies and
shareholders at an unacceptable risk," said Craig Spiezle, Executive
Director and President, Online Trust Alliance. 
The OTA 2013 Data Protection & Breach Readiness Guide is a
comprehensive guide to help businesses understand the evolving
privacy landscape, to enhance data security and to develop data loss
incident plans. The guide is available at:
https://otalliance.org/breach.html  
The OTA's Data Privacy Day Town Hall meetings are being held on
January 29 in New York City and on January 30 in Seattle, with a
keynote by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The Town
Halls are sponsored in part by PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc., Pitney
Bowes, Intersections Inc., and the Council of Better Business
Bureaus. Speakers also include representatives from the FTC, FBI,
U.S. Secret Service and the offices of both state's Attorneys
General. To learn more about these events or to register, please
visit: https://otalliance.org/dpd.html  
About The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) https://otalliance.org
 OTA is
a non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust, while
promoting innovation and the vitality of the Internet. OTA's goal is
to help educate businesses, policy makers and stakeholders while
developing and advancing best practices and tools to enhance the
protection of users' security, privacy and identity. OTA supports
collaborative public-private partnerships, benchmark reporting,
meaningful self-regulation and data stewardship. Follow us on Twitter
at: https://twitter.com/otalliance.  
Media Contact: 
Joyce Carcaise
joycec@otalliance.org
571 426-2422 (m)
425 455-7400