The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, an identity database, was attacked by hackers rather recently, and they hit the jackpot: More than 21 million federal workers are at risk of identity theft for perhaps the rest of their lives, reports an article on forbes.com.
The hackers from overseas now have security clearance documents for these employees that contain some very sensitive personal information. And nobody can take these documents away from the hackers.
That’s the problem with these centralized identity databases. It’s like all the loot is in one location, so that when the thieves strike, they get it all. And as the forbes.com article points out, not too many governments care to invest the money and energy in optimizing the security of these huge central databases. And it’s not just the U.S. with this problem. Other countries have also had either cyber attacks or big issues with their national ID systems.
On the security evolution clock of 24 hours, cybersecurity comes in in the last few seconds. Governments for eons have been very staunch about issuing security in the physical form, such as constructing walls and other barricades near borders.
But protecting a computer database from harm? It’s just not as prioritized as it should be. The forbes.com article notes that the cybersecurity of a country’s citizens makes up the whole of the nation’s security.
Seems like things will be getting way more out of hand before things start getting under control, if ever. In line with this trend is that hackers have, in their possession for all time, fingerprint data of more than one million U.S. security clearance holders.
Governments need to start focusing on protecting the cyber safety of all the millions and millions of ants that make up its nation, or else one day, the empire just might crumble.
Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to TheBestCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention.