Gas Week

EWN Publishing

iPods and portable USB drives remain key threats for data security; self-auditing software walks the line between security and privacy

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

Speaking in Sydney last week ahead of a conference conducted by Computer Sciences Corporation, Workshare chief executive Joe Fantuzzi said that providing a path into an internal network could be as easy as sending someone a Microsoft Word document, according to Joshua Gliddon, reported The Australian Financial Review (25/9/2007, p. 36).

Following the trail: “Word documents come with the network pathway attached,” Fantuzzi said. Sending out a document that had not been cleaned up could expose this pathway to anyone that cared to look for it. Hackers, and other people with malicious intent, could then use the pathway as a clue to how to get into a company’s internal networks.

Software that records every copy: “Mobility is the key concern that companies have now,” Fantuzzi said. “They are no longer talking so much about viruses and Spam, as those problems have been solved. Organisations want to learn how to protect their data when it’s being created, when it is at rest and when it is in motion.” Workshare’s software provides an audit list. Every time a document is copied, a note is made of who was copying it and how they copied it. Fantuzzi gave the example of an employee who is about to leave for another job. The employee spends the weekend sending internal documents to a web mail account, but these actions are noted. “When they come in on Monday morning there’s a note on their desk asking them to return the documents that they took,” he said.

Security solution: Fantuzzi said Workshare’s closest competitor was Adobe, with its Acrobat software that creates PDFs. But Acrobat didn’t integrate as well with Microsoft Office. Nor did workers want to give up their USB drives and iPods the minute they walked into the office. Having a software solution that knew where documents were in real time walked the line between a corporate duty of care, and the privacy — and legitimate need — that many employees had to move data around on devices like USB drives.

The Australian Financial Review, 25/9/2007, p. 36

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