The Hidden Cost of Downsizing

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There is a hidden cost to downsizing that companies are starting to come to grips with. According to a recent story in CSO Magazine, an auditor formerly employed at a major water distribution company used his electronic key card which was still active following his separation from the company, to get into secured facilities and wire himself $9 Million dollars before being discovered. The fraud really only got detected because he tried to deposit a stolen check as well. While the transaction was reversed in time, the perpetrator remains at large.

Based on a February 2009 study conducted by the Ponemon Institute on data loss following downsizing, 32% respondents polled had authentication credentials that still worked following their termination. Of this number 15% had access continue for a few hours after their termination, whereas a whopping 35% had access that continued for a week or longer! These risks are too large to ignore, the manual processes reconciling IT access and physical access cannot scale and something has to be done now.

What about critical corporate assets – laptops, Blackberries (is that the plural?), USB thumb drives, SD cards etc. All these things carry critical information. According to the Ponemon Institute study on data loss following downsizing, the corporate assets and information that was taken by departing employees:
· 92% of employees took CDs/DVDs;
· 73% took USB memory sticks;
· 17% took PDAs;
· 9% kept their Blackberry; and
· 3% kept their laptops.

“AlertEnterprise delivers a complete risk management approach by detecting blended threats based on access to IT Systems, Physical Access Control and applications automating specialized processes. No other security solution, not even much touted Identity and Access Management can match this”. –Jasvir Gill, Founder & CEO AlertEnterprise, former CEO Virsa Systems.

For more information on this or other security convergence issues please email me at

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