- read and use papers found at the city dump?
- read and use papers found in a dumpster sitting on the street?
- read and use papers found in a waste can in a field service office?
These are fairly simple Corporate Security problems to solve. It is a matter of being aware of the value of the papers you handle on a day-to-day basis. However, events can take on dramatic degrees of involvement. Consider some of the following events.
In one company I know, they were missing formulation cards for their brands (very important confidential information). That company also caught two private investigators (hired by competition) in their research facilities. As a result of these two events, they established expensive and tight security procedures.
Now consider the company that in order to cut costs, hired an outside organization to handle night clean-up of their offices. It wasn't long before cameras, computers, as well as money were missing. Corporate Security decided to place a motion detector camera in one of the main offices. The first night, stuff was missing. The camera got the pictures, but they placed the camera on the floor under a table. The result was pictures of the thief's feet (smart?). A couple of days later they placed a hidden camera in a box on top of a tall cabinet. Again, stuff missing. They took down the camera but when they opened it up, the thief had taken the film (smart thief). The company ultimately terminated their contract with the clean-up company.
In debriefing the experience, the company took the position that what was
taken was only money (the equipment was termed money also). What they
failed to realize is that information could have easily been taken at the
same time. Corporate Security maintained that with their locked desk
policy, there could not have been any theft of information. It was
brought to their attention that the desks in their offices all contained
locks with little numbers printed on the outside of the lock. And with
these numbers you could go to any locksmith and they could make you two keys
for $1.50. It was also pointed out that the side drawers of the desks
had utilized a candelabra locking device triggered by the center drawer and
that if you reached behind the center drawer with one finger, you could slide
the locking pin off the horizontal bar thereby unlocking the side drawers
without ever opening the center drawer. After gaining access to the
information, the thief would replace the pin on the bar and close the side
drawers thereby re-locking them and no one would ever know they were ever
Why am I mentioning this today? Well, back in the 1990s when I wrote
the talk, I said that the biggest security breach was "subcontracting." Well,
today we are in a new era, that era is "outsourcing." The Pros are
good but the Pros are not usually in the Corporate Security Office. It
is hard to train your own employees to be on the alert and practice good
security. Do we train our contractors with the same degree of skill
and do they share the same degree of concern? Look at some of the things
that are being outsourced such as IT Departments and Manufacturing. What
are the Risks? What are the Rewards? Are we making it easy for
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