Three Data Privacy Lessons Collection Agencies Can Learn From the Houston Astros Hack

Sean C. Griffin

The Department of Justice recently disclosed that the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors are investigating whether the St. Louis Cardinals hacked into the Houston Astros’ computer network to steal information about the Astros’ players. According to the New York Times, officials believe that “vengeful front-office employees for the Cardinals, hoping to wreak havoc on [former Cardinals executive and current Astros general manager] Jeff Luhnow …” orchestrated the hack.  The breach apparently occurred in 2013.

The sports implications are interesting, but the data privacy implications are crucial.  Specifically, the nearly nonexistent protection that the Astros allegedly afforded its valuable confidential information should give pause to any business that, without intensive verification, believes its information is safe. Due to the Astros’ lack of data privacy sophistication, discussed below, the hack apparently required minimal effort.

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