Will USPS Lose Your Direct Mail Files?
Marketers put hours, weeks and years into direct mail programs. Elaborate arrangements with the U.S. Postal Service are the norm. Questions arise based on an Aug. 28 article in FedScoop titled, "USPS Loses Database and Backup in Hardware Failure." How worried should marketers be about USPS losing necessary data? What contingency plans do marketers have in case this happens?
"The United States Postal Service lost the digital version of an entire database that records and monitors security incidents due to a failure of the hard drive that stored both the database and its backup, according to a report from the agency's Inspector General," writes Jake Williams of FedScoop.
USPS Chief Information Security Officer Chuck McGann tells Williams the postal service does have physical copies of the lost Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) database—in file cabinets.
In the Aug. 20 USPS OIG report FedScoop cites, the OIG makes a couple recommendations (Opens as a PDF):
- "Expand existing procedures in … Information Security to prohibit the practice of using the same hardware to maintain and back up noncritical information resources."
- "Issue a reminder that data backups are to be maintained in an appropriate location to reduce potential loss, damage or misuse of essential data."
USPS spokeswoman Darleen Reid returned Target Marketing's request for comment Friday about how much do its direct mail customers should worry about USPS losing their data.
"Mail is reliable, trusted and secure," Reid writes. "More than 200 federal laws protect the sanctity of the U.S. mail. These laws are enforced by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Postal inspectors are federal agents, mandated to safeguard the nation's mail—including the people who move it and the customers who use it."
Should marketers be concerned about USPS hardware?
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