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Risk Management Bulletin


By June 1, 2009No Comments

The most sophisticated security systems can often be breached by rummaging through the company trash for a discarded password. Banks sometimes find customers’ ATM cards with the “secret” PIN code written on the card itself. And how often have you overheard a supposedly “confidential” conversation by someone shouting into their cell phone in public?

Have you ever considered how much of your customers’ private information might be left lying around the office? Fellow employees, cleaning crews, other customers, and repair people can easily walk by an absent employee’s desk and see confidential information scattered about or left on the computer screen. While you’re spending thousands on software barriers to protect files against hackers, those same files could be sitting open in your office for all to see. And don’t overlook the most obvious and massive security breach in any business — human error

Walk through your office after hours or while employees are at lunch and see for yourself how much information is left openly accessible. For example, you might be surprised by how many employees put their passwords on Post-it notes attached to their computer screen. Sit in the middle of the office (or at the next booth or table at lunch) and listen for how much of your employee’s conversations (and possible confidential customer information) you can overhear.

Then decide what you can do to minimize this risk. Make sure that desktops are clear at night; add password-protected screen savers to your computers (and change the passwords often); and remind employees to be sensitive about what they reveal in public conversations.

It’s far better to clean up this problem now than to have it clean you out later.

If you’d like our risk management professionals to review your information privacy protection plan, just give us a call.