Brand protection and corporate reputations as well as increased regulations are pressuring organizations, especially banks, educational institutions and healthcare firms, to get tougher on securing databases. Often it takes a combination of physical security and information security officials to make a difference.

Computer and paper files are vulnerable.

For example, just this week, Data storage bins were stolen from three Ohio-based FirstMerit Bank branches. The storage bins store paper containing bank customers’ personal data while waiting to be shredded and, ironically, each weights over 500 pounds. At the same time, a Maryland State audit flaws in a university’s computer and wireless networks that make them vulnerable to hackers who could access sensitive personal information.

On the healthcare side, there are privacy and hacker concerns beyond the typical databases covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Some experts fear that data miners will have access to individual healthcare records through business associates, government agencies and even Internet-based services that encourage individuals to post their health records in the cloud.