Recently, headlines were hyping the largest ever exposure of voter information, involving some 9.5 billion data points related to 198 million U.S. voters.
Attention-getting stuff. And since the story involved the Republican National Committee (RNC), the hype was intensified. Somewhat imprecisely, many articles characterized the incident as a data “leak”, “breach”, or “compromise” — again, adding to the intensity, but not the accuracy of what actually happened.
I’m not trying to minimize the seriousness of the issue — the potential damage was enormous as were the implications regarding security and privacy. But now that some of the dust has settled, it’s time to back away from the headlines and explore what actually happened.
So let’s see what we can learn from the RNC data exposure — and more importantly — what we can and must do to better protect our data and systems going forward.