New regulations implemented in Massachusetts require that companies encrypt documents sent over the Internet or saved on laptops or flash drives. Data transmitted wirelessly must also be protected and firewalls must be up to date. Companies were required to meet most of the regulations last month but the deadline for some items has been extended. For example, all data stored on laptops must be encrypted now but the requirement to encrypt data on other portable devices has been delayed until January 1, 2010.
A recent report jointly conducted by Experian and the Ponemon Institute surveyed consumers who were victims of data breaches. In the report, The Aftermath of a Mega Data Breach: Consumer Sentiment, 63 percent of consumers said they believe the company where the data breach occurred should be obligated to provide identity theft protection to affected parties, and 67 percent wanted compensation such as cash, products, or services.