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The Coalfire Blog

South Carolina Data Breach Survey Results on Residents' Attitudes

January 15, 2013, Rick Dakin, CEO, Co-founder and Chief Security Strategist

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Rick Dakin

Coalfire recently conducted a survey of South Carolina residents who were victims of their recent data breach. The data breach affected residents of the State who had filed their taxes online exposing 3.8 million taxpayer Social Security numbers and nearly 400,000 credit and debit card numbers.

Over 500 residents of South Carolina completed the survey and we found:

  • More than 90 percent of respondents became aware of the security breach due to widespread media coverage.

  • Approximately 80 percent of those surveyed do not understand the changes, if any, they will need to make this year if they choose to file their taxes electronically.

  • More than 60 percent of respondents are more concerned with a government entity being breached then commercial entities.

  • The vast majority of respondents (80 percent) are not familiar with what state compliance regulations are in place to strive to keep personal data safe.

  • Many respondents expressed concerned for their children’s personal data as they were listed as dependents on tax returns.

  • More than 60 percent of those surveyed will use the credit monitoring service that the state is offering as compensation. However, they feel that the service is less than a fully acceptable resolution and want to know why their data was not better protected.


This data breach helps to highlight the need for strong cybersecurity plans and for the modernization of compliance rules in both the public and private sectors. While many citizens may not be experts in cybersecurity, they seem to expect that someone at the State is. Every State should conduct a Cyber Risk Assessment and make sure that they know where their biggest risks are and to continually test for vulnerabilities.

 

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