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Digital Security and Disgruntled Employees

Protecting business records and information is among the priority security issues that have to be paramount in executives' minds. It is certainly one of the points emphasized by local law enforcement when they speak to small and large businesses alike. Many businesses worry about natural disasters and act of terrorism. Is your business prepared to deal with a disaster or catastrophic event like a fire or flood? Maintaining redundant backups is an essential component of good business practices and security in today's digital world.

However, the question here is whether those same businesses are conscious of the potential damage to be done by spiteful, angry, and vengeful employees. When a woman working for a Mandarin, Florida architectural firm noticed a classified ad with a job description similar to hers with her boss's phone number, she mistakenly concluded that she was about to be fired. Her response was to sabotage the firm's computer files.

"She decided to go and mess up everything for everybody," said Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesman Ken Jefferson. Jefferson says Cooley accessed the company's server with her own account, and with a handful of mouse clicks and keystrokes she deleted seven years' worth of architectural drawings. Seven years of work were gone in but a few seconds. The company put the value of the deleted files at $2.5 million."

Even though the owner of the company was able to hire data recovery consultants and retrieved all of the drawings, this incident raises the serious question of computer and data security, regardless of the size of your business. Is your company's data backed-up? Is it off-site? Is it automatic or manual? I maintain triple back-ups of my critical data (CD-RW, external hard drive and separate desktop computer). It only takes one incident to make you super careful.

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