The recent thefts of personal data from companies and government agencies make it clear that Social Security numbers can no longer be relied on as proof of identity, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner analysts said enterprises should use this data as only part of an overall "identity score."

Avivah Litan, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, recently testified at the oversight hearings for the Committee on Veteran's Affairs regarding the theft of sensitive information belonging to 26.5 million veterans and spouses from a Veteran Affairs employee's home. Ms. Litan told the committee that this latest compromise shows just how unprotected some of the nation's most sensitive data is.

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