Friday, February 11, 2011

Spies at Work Know Where to Find Your Secrets

“A mental health specialist recommended that the Army private accused of leaking classified material to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks not be deployed to Iraq, but his immediate commanders sent him anyway.”

That’s according to the Washington Post, which noted that the soldier, Bradley Manning, was allegedly storing classified material on an unclassified server, had been demoted for assault, and was acting so erratically that his master sergeant disabled his weapon. So why did this man have a security clearance, and what was he doing in a war zone with access to State Department cables unrelated to his job?

Before you call the Army stupid and forget it, why does your mailroom clerk have unrestricted access to everything on your company’s server, including corporate secrets, or your clients’ merger plans and bid data? And why was a Ford Motor Co. engineer allegedly able to steal thousands of sensitive documents that had nothing to do with his job? Poor information security isn’t just a government problem.

Economic espionage is intensifying. The foreign intelligence services of China, Russia, Iran and other countries are after our technology, and most of what they want is in the electronic-information systems of private companies -- and the law and accounting firms that work for them.


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