Minnesota DNR employee accessed private records, 5,000 individuals notified

Minnesota is the latest state to suffer from a massive security breach. However, instead of an outsider hacking sensitive data, a company employee allegedly accessed the information of 5,000 individuals.

According to the Associated Press, the Department of Natural Resources had a data breach when an employee retrieved driving and motor vehicle records. Journalists, attorneys, government employees and possibly state legislatures are all on the list of individuals who had their information read.

DNR spokesman Chris Niskane told Minnesota Public Radio that the employee allegedly involved no longer works for the department, but Niskane could not divulge if that individual was fired or why the information was looked into in the first place.

"We sent these letters out because it's the right thing to do. It's the right thing to notify people when something like this happens," Niskane told the news source. "We believe that there's a very low risk of any sort of malfeasance here. It doesn't appear to be so, but we wanted folks to know."

While it is illegal to access drivers' license data without a legitimate government purpose, past audits have found that misuse is common and state employees have faced discipline for those actions before.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said in a statement that the organization is currently implementing more employee training and trying to find more ways to properly monitor access. That way, such security breaches can hopefully be prevented in the future.

It's important for businesses that have access to sensitive information to keep themselves protected against possible illegal actions by employees. Whether a device is stolen or information is hacked, data breaches can be extremely detrimental to companies across all industries. Working with commercial insurance specialists can help organizations find comprehensive business and liability policies that suit their needs.

Without technology insurance that accounts for security breaches, businesses could face heavy fines should employee or customer information fall into the wrong hands.

 

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