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November 2006

Editor's Desk: The ultimate insider threat

The ways in which you protect your corporate data can be the difference between keeping your job and going to jail. Take it from HP. By now you've heard about the HP imbroglio in which its chairwoman Patricia Dunn was forced to step down when it became public that HP used pretexting—obtaining phone records under false pretenses—to identify who leaked confidential information to reporters. This corporate tale teaches security professionals a valuable lesson: The intersection of compliance, insider threats and data privacy laws conspires to pressure a security professional to walk the line—and perhaps cross it—in an effort to protect sensitive information from leaving a corporation. Technology makes it easy to get such information, whether through pretexting, Trojans, email tracers or some other means. The question is how far will companies (or you) go to protect or seek information under the guise of regulations? The motivation behind Sarbanes-Oxley was to create checks and balances to ensure that another "Enron" would not occur....

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