« Disaster Recovery

Even top agencies can benefit from business continuity plans

NASA experienced a massive security breach two weeks ago when an employee's laptop was stolen, which contained personal information like Social Security numbers. Up to 10,000 workers could be affected.
NASA experienced a massive security breach two weeks ago when an employee's laptop was stolen, which contained personal information like Social Security numbers. Up to 10,000 workers could be affected.

No matter how much security a company feels that it has, there is always a need for a comprehensive business continuity plan. It's crucial to conduct thorough risk management assessments so an organization can take the necessary precautions to prepare for any situation, such as disruption in service.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently experienced a security breach when an employee's laptop was reported stolen. According to Reuters, the theft happened two weeks ago, and the company is now working to inform employees that personal information such as Social Security numbers were contained in the computer. Up to 10,000 employees could be affected.

"NASA immediately began working with local law enforcement after the laptop was stolen, with the goal of recovering the computer and protecting the sensitive data," company spokesperson Allard Beutel said in a statement. "At the same time, NASA IT specialists and security officials began performing an exhaustive automated and manual analysis of the data to make sure everyone with information on the stolen laptop is notified."

The source also reported that NASA administrator Charlie Bolden banned the removal of unencrypted laptops containing sensitive information from any NASA facility. He also ordered security software upgrades to be finished by December 21.

Employees are being offered free credit monitoring support during this time, just in case information falls into the wrong hands.

This is not the first time that NASA has encountered a security breach, as last March a Kennedy Space Center worker's laptop that contained personal information on about 2,300 employees and students was stolen.

While a thorough recovery process in the wake of any disaster is crucial, it will also benefit an organization when there is an up-to-date disaster recovery plan in place. This will ensure quick business resumption, with as little downtime as possible.