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If your company is laying off employees, changing compensation plans or about to restructure, take extra caution and be vigilant in monitoring and protecting critical data.

Employees who experience monetary stress may unleash unexpected behavior, especially when they have access to information that can fetch a price or be used to buy merchandise. Not only is the economy a factor, but the upcoming holidays will present added pressure. Companies will need to be mindful of disgruntled employees who have been laid off and may be out for revenge. They can create havoc by sabotaging network access, destroying sensitive company information or anonymously releasing that information to the public. Any one of these incidents could hurt your business.

Now is the time for proper oversight and adherence to polices that protect your data. Disable access for terminated  employees immediately, track employee access to critical data, and block or establish strict policy regarding data transfers to removable media devices. Those with privileged user rights or administrative access rights should also have the required oversight to ensure sensitive data is not being exploited.

Last July, a San Francisco city network administrator was arrested for holding the network hostage when he was about to be fired for alleged poor performance. At that time, it was said that he may have installed the means to electronically destroy sensitive documents. He was accused of computer tampering, creating a single password, and denying other administrator access to the city’s network.

ISSUE: November 2008

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This month, a former Intel employee was charged with stealing trade secrets worth more than $1 billion in research and development costs while on the payroll of Intel’s biggest rival, AMD located in California.  The employee had resigned from Intel and was allowed to access their systems as he used up his last week of vacation days. It was then he downloaded the files, including details about methods for designing microprocessors, in hopes he could advance his new career at AMD.

An employee that feels retaliation against their employer is justified should not be underestimated. And although no one can control the actions of an employee spurred by motive, it’s your job to limit their opportunity as much as possible. One example of due diligence is to  obtain an independent, outside audit of your information systems and Web facing applications. Clarksville Gas and Water Department revealed last month that they had done this for the first time. It disclosed that “terminated employees were able to retain access to critical information and that password requirements were too lax.” They also found that their payment Web site may not have been fully secure. This information is invaluable for keeping information secure and will ensure business continuity for employees and customers.

An ongoing option to protect against external and internal attacks is to implement NCX Group’s managed security services with a monitored intrusion detection system in place.NCX Group has helped many companies tighten their security controls. We discover areas vulnerable to attack and provide oversight and guidance for smaller organizations who don’t have the personnel on staff to ensure proper security measures are being performed.

If your company is experiencing financial hardships, the last thing you need is a data breach or sabotage event. Know who has access to critical systems and where your information is going. NCX would like to help you ensure it will stay protected. We would be happy to discuss your needs and provide a quote to identify where you may be vulnerable.

For more information about our services or for a free consultation on how our experts can help you secure your data at a price that will fit your budget, call us at 888-448-5451 or request a representative to call you.

NCX Group, Inc. is a leading information risk management firm specializing in the assessment and mitigation of risk associated with today’s technologies and business processes.

NCX Group, Inc.
5000 Birch Street, West Tower, Suite 3000
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Copyright ©2008 NCX Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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