RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (MainStreet) -- I have an increasing concern that meeting in public places is leading to carelessness when it comes to confidential information. At this moment, I'm sitting in a restaurant waiting for a meeting. In the past five minutes the conversation in the next booth has become impossible to ignore. They just mentioned a company that I do business with (they are the IT provider for that company). In 10 minutes, sitting 10 feet away, I know how to log into the company's server, the ID and password -- every character and number, what's in caps, what's lowercase. Not only have I learned the password, but I know it's the same password they typically use for clients too. Wow!If we have a meeting in a public place, we can forget people are listening. If we mention a name, make a comment about a colleague or say something that would be best said in a private setting, it could have serious consequences.
|Meeting in public places may be leading to carelessness when it comes to confidential information.|
- Employee performance issues
- Intellectual property: inventions, ideas, proprietary processes
- Competitive information related to bids, pricing, costs, etc.
- Customer information
- Strategic or tactical information: expansions, marketing, sales, etc.
- Financial results or plans, including mergers, acquisition targets, requests for quotes and budgets
- Security information including passwords, login IDs and processes
- Have a comprehensive written policy on confidential and proprietary information: what it is, how it should be handled and limits on where, when and with whom it can be discussed.
- Establish security protocols for employees, contractors and vendors that require signed acknowledgments of receipt or access to proprietary and confidential information and consequences for failure to comply with the policy and procedures.
- Train, train, train employees, contractors and vendors (including service providers) on appropriate and inappropriate means, methods and locations for discussions, meetings, etc., when dealing with confidential and proprietary information.
- ·Monitor your systems, controls, training and documentation of information.
- Establish corrective actions and disciplinary rules for breaches.
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