The risks are evident. Private information of allkinds—personal, financial, medical—resides on the computers ofnearly every business. Hackers and identity thieves increasinglyare compromising system vulnerabilities, seeking to break in andexploit the details.

Hacking has been generating high-profile news lately. Citigroupwarned 360,000 credit card customers that some of their accountdata was compromised. AT&T apologized to 114,000 new iPadowners, including celebrities, after hackers leaked their emailaddresses to an online gossip site. Privacy breaches, bothaccidental and criminal, are increasing steadily, along with theircosts.

Violation of privacy laws and regulations also has become one ofthe fastest-growing litigation areas, with lawsuits accusingcompanies of negligence in their computer system security, breachof warranty and failure to properly inform customers followingunauthorized access or accidental loss of personal data.

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