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Flash Drive Scare
Data breach

Has this happened to you?  I copied a document from my laptop to a flash drive so I could give it to a colleague.  She copied the document and handed it back to me.  I put it in my laptop bag where I always keep my hoard of flash drives.  My son grabbed one so he could take his presentation to school.  You can see where this is going.  He took the flash drive to school and copied its contents onto a class laptop for his presentation.  Low and behold he copied my document and yes, there was confidential information in it.

Who do you Trust?
Data breach

Insider threats continue to represent a major concern for all size organizations. 

I recently met with a company that was responding to a major RFP.  The company uses a Content Management System and has developed strict procedures to ensure the confidentiality of their files.  Unfortunately, one of the staff members that worked on the RFP had an acquaintance who worked for the competition. The employee saved the file to a thumb drive and emailed it to his friend at the competition. That person used the information to under bid the other company and ultimately won the business. Eventually, the theft was uncovered, the individuals involved were fired and the RFP was cancelled. There is no way to determine the cost of litigation, but it is safe to assume that legal costs and fines will exceed a $1 million.

Stealing Files with a Pringles Can
Data breach

data breach with a ringles canMost of us use wireless networks at home and when we travel.  The other day I was sitting in an airport waiting on my late flight (that of course never happens), and I fired up my laptop to get at a few emails over the local Wi-Fi hotspot.  I was responding to a few items and sent a couple of spreadsheets and documents.

I sent a proposal to a colleague for input before sending it to a customer.  The document had pricing and other confidential information in it.  Since I was on an open wireless network, a hacker with a Pringles can as an antenna could steal my file.  Talk about scary.  If I log into my company through a VPN that encrypts my traffic, I should be safe.  I was using GMail, so I may be compromised.

Loose lips sink ships
Data breach

The familiar line from World War II is as relevant today as it was 65 years ago. The release of confidential information can have a devastating impact on an organization. In the normal course of doing business critical information will leak out into the wild. This may occur intentionally or unintentionally, but either way it is critical to know that a breach occurred at the earliest possible moment. Data Loss Detection enables companies to routinely perform customized profile searches that detect specific information on internet sites. The search crawler detects confidential data, files, posts and discussions that should not be in the public domain.

Indecent exposure
Data breach Insider threat

Indecent exposureWhile visiting with a client last week they were discussing an upcoming company cruise that will be taking place this October.  The event includes over 500 employees and their spouses.  The company sent an Excel spreadsheet to each employee that requires information such as Passport number, Social Security Number and credit card information.

After completing the form one of the employees mistakenly hit reply all and his information was instantly sent to over 500 people, most of whom he does not know.  Without a way to revoke the rights to the file his personal information was exposed.

Another client’s Human Resources department had a new administrator access an Excel spreadsheet from the department’s network directory.  The visible cells showed the employees’ names and phone extensions.  Thinking this would be helpful information for company employees the administrator emailed the file to all employees. Little did he know that the hidden cells contained salary, stock option and other confidential information.  Not sure what happed to the administrator but needless to say the company had significant issues to deal with.

Major company is victim of document breach
Data breach

Insider threats continue to represent a major concern for all organizations. We were recently made aware of a situation where a major company was responding to a large Request for Pricing (RFP).  The company uses FileNet as their Content Management application and has developed strict procedures to ensure the confidentiality of their files. Unfortunately, one of the staff members that worked on the RFP had a friend who worked for the competition. The employee saved the file to a flash drive and sent it  to the friend at the competition. That person used the information to under bid the other company and ultimately won the business.  Eventually, the theft was uncovered and the individuals involved were fired and the RFP was cancelled. There is no way to determine the cost of litigation but it is safe to assume that legal costs and fines will exceed a million dollars.