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Soap storyline highlights risk of data theft by employees; LEGAL & FINANCE.

As recession looms and the British Chambers of Commerce predicts a "difficult and risky climate" in the next six to nine months, businesses should take steps to defend themselves against the Rosie Websters of the world. Coronation Street's Rosie, under the serpentine charms of Underworld factory boss Tony Gordon, has stolen critical client and financial data from her father's business and passed it on to business rival, Tony.

Unfortunately, the risk of data theft is not confined to the world of the soap opera. Corrie's storyline highlights the danger that the theft of valuable and confidential data poses to business - and this is especially in the current economic climate, where wage rises are negligible and bonuses are scarce. In these conditions, disgruntled employees may be looking to improve their financial prospects by moving to a rival firm or setting up in business themselves.

In doing so, such employees may look to gain a head start by taking with them their former employer's confidential database of clients and customers.

So, what steps can firms take to protect their confidential data from the Rosie Websters of this world?

The first step is to look at how easy it is for the employee to access the confidential and sensitive data. Businesses should look at restricting an employee's access to confidential and sensitive data where such access is not necessary for the employee to perform their job. Where access to confidential and sensitive information is necessary, businesses should consider policies and procedures to prevent that information being downloaded, extracted or transferred by employees without certain safeguards in place. For example, it is possible for firms to set up their IT systems to ensure
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 3, 2008
Words:279
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