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News

Estate Agent Data Theft Highlights Dangers Of Insider Threat

Overtis Systems : 01 October, 2010  (Technical Article)
Overtis explains how privileged access management can assist in the prevention of high value data loss through theft by trusted employees
London estate agent firm, Foxtons, is suing its former operations director after he set up a rival company, Draker Lettings, using the stolen contacts of 2,500 clients. The database is reported to be worth millions of pounds in repeat business. Foxtons is seeking a minimum of £300,000 in damages from the former employee, who spent twelve years working at a senior level within the firm.

A court-ordered raid on the premises of Draker Lettings found printed material providing evidence that the client list had been obtained from Foxtons. Stolen details included names and addresses of landlords, company bank details and tenancy expiry dates.

Overtis, a leading provider of user activity management software, which controls and audits exactly what information employees can access, copy, store, save, send or print, has warned that organisations holding large amounts of sensitive customer data must protect this from being misused by employees with privileged access.

Ed Macnair, CEO of Overtis comments, "This case serves as a reminder that when the financial rewards are high even the most trusted employees can be motivated to steal company data. Foxtons has a duty to protect its customers' personal details. Had this database ended up in the public domain, Foxtons could have been facing a significant fine from the Information Commissioner's office."

"By carefully controlling and auditing activity on laptops, desktops and servers, companies can prevent accidental data loss and protect themselves from deliberate threats to company data," says Macnair. "Activity such as attaching unencrypted files to emails, transferring databases to portable storage devices, or printing out reams of customer data should be managed and recorded. Your database is only as safe as the people who use it."
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