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Friday, February 13, 2009


Wikipedia defines the “inside job” as “…a crime, usually larceny, robbery or embezzlement, committed by a person with a position of trust who is authorized to access a location or procedure with little or no supervision, e.g., a key employee or manager.” It goes on to identify former employees knowing the company’s layout as potential perpetrators. In Wednesday’s post, “IDENTITY THEFT INCREASES 47 PERCENT IN 2008 OVER 2007,” I quoted a just published report by Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) finding that Insider theft doubled in 2008 over 2007. When the times get bad, the bad get smarter.

At the end of 2008, there was an article from MSN Money with some facts that are both scary and eye-opening. It stated that 18 percent of the corporate world saw an increase in monetary theft among employees, with another 41 percent unsure. Here’s a statement that should jar any company: “Employers are hot targets for theft because workers "…know their systems, controls and weaknesses, and they can bide their time waiting for the right opportunity." This from Jack L. Haynes Int’l, supplier of workplace crime-prevention services.

And the employees guilty of the biggest heists frequently are the most highly trusted. These are the ones who can get into company computers and make off with your names and personal data. They are close to it every day, often with unlimited access. I am not just talking about junk mail databases of millions of names and private information, but also non-junk mail companies that also warehouse your sensitive data. Folks, there are few corporations out there that don’t maintain thousands of personal records on their customers and/or employees.

A Pricewaterhouse study even found that senior-level workers that had been around over seven years were responsible for 25 percent of all reported internal fraud. Most are men and they are well educated. Jack L. Haynes Int’l reports that about one out of every 28 employees was apprehended for stealing in 2007. Combined, these are all the ingredients for a disaster if the downturn in the economy gets worse and more people get desperate.

TechNewsWorld said it back in 2007: “A ticking time bomb of sorts is hidden away in the cubicles and workstations of many businesses. When it goes off, the personal financial information of customers and workers could be laid bare.” Yet one more survey provided some of the most significant findings. A Compuware commissioned study by Ponemon Institute revealed that 75 percent of all breaches in the U.S. were caused by insiders, while only one percent by external hackers.

So what’s the solution?

Bring the consumers of this country together to demand that Congress and the new administration get together to pass legislation that gives consumers control over their names and personal data. In the same bill, allow for compensation to the name-holder when it is sold to encourage individuals to assume this new protective responsibility. Now is your time to be heard. Contact your U. S. Representative; your Senator; The White House.

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