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Security Manager's Journal: Did DLP tool prevent an assault?

Mathias Thurman | Feb. 13, 2013
Our manager's data loss prevention tool flags some incriminating keywords that lead to discovery of a possible criminal conspiracy.

Incriminating Details

The discussion was incredibly detailed and incriminating: They talked about the type of weapon that would be best for the attack, their alibis and even the best way to wash blood off clothing and hands.

I printed out a transcript, along with information about the employee, and met with our legal department and human resources. HR's impulse was to give the employee the benefit of doubt, but our general counsel, concerned that we could be charged with negligence if an assault occurred, disagreed and said we needed to contact law enforcement immediately. I then told the employee's manager to confiscate his laptop until the matter is resolved.

I checked in the other day to find out what is happening and learned that the police investigation is ongoing and that HR has put the employee on administrative leave. There is still a chance that the entire thing was a hoax, but the incident nonetheless provides further justification for our investment in DLP.

All in all, though, I'd be happier with other sorts of justification for such a valuable initiative.


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