Protecting data

In the world of things, we often value objects more than the rest of the world would value them — the inherited china or silver, the souvenir bought on a meaningful trip, and so on.

In the world of data, this seems to be exactly the other way around: once we’ve captured some data (and perhaps used it to model our customers) then most of its value to us has been exhausted. So we fail to see that it has much greater value to others than it has to us — and fail to protect it well. For example, Adobe used and uses its data about customers for its own internal purposes. But it clearly failed to realize that this data was of huge potential value to criminals who can use it for identity theft.

The bottom line is: data should be protected by its real-world open-market value, not by its current value to the business. Until this sinks in, we are going to continue to see data breaches in businesses and governments.

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