Who goes there?

Thursday, 5 December 2002, 1:50 PM EST

In this age of heightened security and sensitive intellectual property, companies must be more diligent about shutting down employee access rights across the enterprise once that person leaves—and the sooner the better. Leave those accounts active, and it opens doors for hackers, not to mention the risk of having former workers access systems later on so that they can share confidential information with their new employer or other interested parties. It's a scenario that plays out all the time, at least according to vendors in the space. "It's a common problem. It's a serious problem. Nobody would deny that it's happening, but few companies would acknowledge with anecdotal evidence that it's happening to them," says Jeff Drake, director of Tivoli Security Strategy and former executive vice president and cofounder of Access360, a subsidiary of IBM and provider of provisioning software in Irvine, Calif.

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