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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Computer Consultants Track Security Breaches as Business Technology Grows

As technology expands at a fast pace, many business owners, security managers and computer consultants for companies are noticing major issues with computer system security. Dishonest employees find it easier to break into sensitive information leaking through cell phones, wireless laptops and networked printers along with person-to-person meetings. As information and communication shift over to digital, security leaks are becoming harder to prevent but much easier for security experts and computer consultants to track.

In June of this year, 50 executives at major firm Merrill Lynch were surveyed to determine major security concerns. Of those surveyed, 52 percent stated that leaks of confidential information was the number one concern followed by viruses and hackers. Because these concerns exist across industries, corporations are employing the help of trained computer consultants to implement high-tech tools into their networks and daily business lives. In fact, 50 percent of the 526 companies surveyed by the American Management Association last year stated that they stored and scanned workers’ computer files and 55 percent admitted they reviewed e-mails.

These practices of high-tech security tracking have raised some legal and ethical concerns within the business community. California’s attorney general has stated that laws may have been broken when investigators hired computer consultants from Hewlett-Packard Co. to trace leaks about confidential boardroom discussions when they pretended to be reporters and directors in order to get personal phone records. Hewlett-Packard claims they were unaware of how the records were obtained, but is not the first company or group of computer consultants to use extreme measures to try to trace and stop leaks at their source. Apple Computers fired and filed suit against workers that were thought to be leaking information, and has been known to sue independent websites. As far back as 1991, Proctor & Gamble Co. went after a grand jury in order to get telephone records that would help the company weed out a Wall Street Journal reporter’s sources.

It is legal for companies to go to reasonable lengths to monitor corporate telephone records, computer and e-mail attached to corporate accounts, but many computer consultants continue to assert that too much monitoring can destroy trust within companies.

Blogged By: Computer Consulting 101 Professional Kit