Magazine article Information Management

WikiLeaks: An Opportunity for RIM

Magazine article Information Management

WikiLeaks: An Opportunity for RIM

Article excerpt

The recent WikiLeaks release of 250,000 confidential U.S. State Department diplomatic cables has provoked a tremendous amount of dialogue in the information management community about how good information governance practices might have prevented the incident.

Following the leak, President Barack Obama ordered a government-wide review of how agencies safeguard sensitive information. The Office of Management and Budget told agencies to establish security assessment teams to ensure that employees do not have broader access to classified information than what is needed to do their jobs, according to www.msnb.com.

While this is an important aspect of safeguarding information and a practice that should be followed in all environments, in his role as an intelligence analyst, the U.S. Army soldier accused of stealing and leaking the information needed the authorization he had to access the information. However, measures that could have prevented or detected his downloading of these classified files apparently were not in place; these should be considered as another layer of protection for all organizations.

For example, computer hardware without (or with inactivated) CD drives, USB ports, or other external drives prevent downloading to external media and make it much more difficult to move large volumes of files.

In environments where these drives might be necessary, data loss prevention (DLP) software can detect the movement, use, and storage of files, as well as identify the user responsible for it, and it can provide an audit trail to document it. (DLP systems are discussed in depth in a September/October 2010 Information Management (IM) article "Exploring Data Loss Prevention Systems for Legal Holds and E-Discovery.")

What has the WikiLeaks scandal left in its wake? It's heightened awareness that poor information management practices present a global risk to organizations. …

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