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Risks associated with the use of contractors can't be eliminated entirely. As probably can be said about most technical controls, they are effective at preventing a large portion of the population from doing what we don't want them to do for a time. Unfortunately the worst bad actors can ultimately find ways to circumvent even the best controls given the right amount of time, computing power and/or money.
Changes in technology will continue to make this a challenging problem. Emerging trends such as the growing availability of inexpensive, pervasive wireless broadband provides contractors with high-speed connectivity while on your premises that you will be unable to monitor or restrict. The pace of technology change and the never-ending discovery of vulnerabilities in our basic computing platforms place continuous pressure on information security managers to re-evaluate risks and refine controls.
This was first published in May 2007