Ever wondered what the cost of a data breach is?

Unsurprisingly, the costs can be astronomical, and for some, priceless. Just ask Katherine Archuleta, the recent data breach at OPM affected millions and cost her a job with the United States Government as the director of the Office of Personnel Management. Although to be fair, she voluntarily resigned.


The OPM data breach, which took place last year, affected over 21 million individuals, all of whom were at one time or another associated with the governmental office. Of those 21 million, over 19 million had their social security numbers targeted and stolen. An additional 1.8 million of identities stolen belonged to non-employees, meaning close family relatives, and others that never worked at any governmental office.

With the recent attack on OPM just mentioned, the question comes to mind, how did this happen? To better understand this answer to this question, we must consider the current state of our digital world.

We are living in a dangerously vulnerable world, where all of our personal, financial, and medical information is stored in digital form on data storage devices or online. For the individual, having your files hacked or having your identity stolen could ruin your life and cause years of financial and legal troubles. For a government office, a data breach can mean decades of trouble for the many millions of individuals involved with that agency. That’s what is happening now at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

About a year ago, the hack on the Office of Personnel Management began, with reports indicating that the source of the attack came from China. First reports of this data security attack came weeks ago, with the director of OPM, Katherine Archuleta, announcing that 4.2 million individuals had their information hacked. Then, it was announced that the breach had in fact affected an additional 21.5 million government officials, contractors, employees, and their family members. Needless to say, Katherine Archuleta resigned from her post as the director of OPM.

The ultimate culprit in this disaster is the weak data security management policy put in place, which was unable to protect the information of millions of governmental personnel. In an ideal situation, several layers of data encryption and data security protocols would be in place to protect such vast amounts of personal data.

This is Where Kanguru has Excelled & Thrived.

With the Kanguru Defender® Collection of hard drives and USB flash drives, data security is the main priority. The Kanguru Defender® hard drives and thumb drives are encrypted with AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) Hardware Encryption. The 256-bit AES encryption provides the highest level of hardware encryption available and is a NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) standard for data security. In addition to the AES hardware encryption, Kanguru Defender® hard drives and thumb drives have onboard antivirus software to protect from unwanted viral threats.

To additionally fortify the data on Kanguru storage devices even more, the Kanguru Defender® 2000 and Kanguru Defender® Elite200 are FIPS 140-2 Certified, which is a joint collaboration between the NIST of the US and the CSE (Communication Security Establishment) of Canada. Both NIST and CSE recognize FIPS 140-2 Certified products as qualified data storage devices to protect governmental data.

In addition to being FIPS 140-2 certified, the Kanguru Defender® 2000 and Kanguru Defender® Elite200 are accredited by CCRA (Common Criteria Recognition Agreement). Common Criteria takes into account much more than the FIPS certification. Common Criteria takes an all-encompassing look at the software, hardware, and firmware of a device and monitors the device from the initial development to its commercial release. In other words, Common Criteria is a much deeper and critical review of a data storage device, and something that Kanguru products are renowned for having.

While we don’t know whether the OPM data storage devices were FIPS 140-2 certified or recognized by Common Criteria, we do know that the Kanguru Defender® hard drives, thumb drives, and solid state drives are fully capable of protecting the sensitive information.

Kanguru is a global leader in providing secure data security management solutions to government, institutions, enterprises, and consumers with the best data storage solutions.  For more information on Kanguru, please visit kanguru.com.


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