Security vs. accessibility - a fine balance

Wednesday, 18 June 2003, 9:15 AM EST

For companies that need to share information with partners, suppliers and customers via the Internet, it is also crucial that they simultaneously lock down and protect vital corporate data and intellectual property.

As managers wrestle to find the balance, business needs usually win over the IT "worst-case" scenarios. IT managers tell the tales of the ensuing nightmares. Among the most damaging are:

Identify theft: A dreaded insider attack at H&R Block by a former H&R Block employee and three friends yielded enough private data on Block customers for the perpetrators to obtain credit cards illegally and steal thousands of dollars in merchandise and cash.

Cost to companies: Microsoft could receive a hefty fine from U.S. regulators for a security flaw in its Passport service that left 200 million consumer accounts vulnerable to hackers.

Loss of intellectual property: Lawyers were sued for hacking into a password-protected Web site of an occupational illness expert witness.

Loss of financial data: A publicly traded company accused the Reuters news agency of hacking into the company’s Web site to obtain earnings results prior to their scheduled release.

[ Read more ]




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