Case Study Assistance – Data Security

Read the case study Data Security.
Submit a 2-4 page paper (excluding the cover page and reference page)
answering the questions related to the case study “Data Security.”
Incorporate theories and practices you learned during this course into
your paper. Be sure to follow APA guidelines and write your paper in the
proper format, not as a question and answer.Guidelines for Submission: Short papers should use double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins. Sources should be cited according to a discipline-appropriate citation method.Page-length requirements: 2 pages.
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Data Security
Policing the workplace used to mean reminding employees about personal phone calls and
making sure that paper clips did not disappear. But with the computer revolution at work that
began in the 1990s, checking on employee behavior at work became considerably more
technical. The threats to data security, not to mention other threats for potential lawsuits (e.g.,
sexual harassment), are now more complex as well. New federal laws pertaining to financial and
medical records have put increased pressure on companies to protect their data. But auditing user
privacy cannot be done without input and buy-in from HR, notes a senior consultant with an IT
security firm in Massachusetts.
Whether the concern is in appropriate Internet usage or transferring files outside the company,
HR may be the first to learn of a problem. Although the possibility of outside attacks on the
computer network is a real problem, the threat of internal security breaches is even greater. The
growing insider problem and the sheer volume of electronic messages coming into and out of a
company (a large company easily processes one million e-mails per day) present HR with a
challenge on data security policy development, implementation, and enforcement.
HR may be asked to “identify personnel at risk” who might require more stringent watching,
such as people who are sending out résumés. In many cases, people leaving organizations take
advantage of the opportunity to take intellectual
property with them. Security software identifying employee behaviors will always require HR
involvement. Policy violations, banned sites, and stealing identity data are examples. Companies
look very bad when sensitive customer or employee data are stolen or leaked to the public.
Employees can easily resent the security measures and see the security as “Big Brother”
watching. However, the growth of identity theft and spyware means that more employees have
been personally affected by data security and are more likely to recognize the need for their
employers’ data security efforts.
At Spherion, HR publishes a “computer and telecom resources policy” that specifies appropriate
usage and a code of conduct. Employees must read and sign the policy. The company also has an
IT Risk Team with members from HR, accounting, internal auditing, and other departments.
There are, of course, attempts at a purely technical solution to the problem. But it is clear that
HR must have a role in balancing employee privacy with company risk management. A simple
act, such as a bank’s loan officer burning credit information to a CD and selling the data to
another bank, can undo all the technical protections. The human side—developing a policy,
communicating it, helping people understand why it is needed, and applying it fairly—is the big
piece for HR.
Questions:
1. How would you communicate a data security policy that required software checking of
employees’ emails?
2. What elements should a data security policy for a bank include?
3. Employee data theft most frequently occurs with new employees or when an employee has
given notice and is leaving. How would you deal with these two very different issues?

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