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ZoneDefense: advanced mobile protection

10 November 2011

ZoneDefenseAirPatrol has presented a new wireless security technology called ZoneDefense. This system uses a new unique approach to the prevention of corporate data leaks.

This a narrowly focused technology that prevents data leaks through mobile devices and applications. ZoneDefense integrates into the structure of a protected building (with its elements being placed in every room) and detects the location of any mobile device with 6-7 foot accuracy.

However, this is not all the system is capable of.

Not only does it allow to find devices within a protected building, but can also make them work according to system-wide rules. Depending on the rules, ZoneDefense can either allow or block the work of both devices and specific mobile applications using a number of parameters: device ownership by a specific employee, type of application, movement direction and even proximity of other devices.

This system can also set off an alarm notifying the security service about a possible data leak or detection of a suspicious device in an unauthorized area.

 

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Employee monitoring: robots

27 May 2011

Business owners and managers across the world are steadily growing aware of the necessity of high-quality monitoring of their employees, both for reasons of information security and employee performance. And as the saying goes, demand creates offer.

Engineers from Sony (Japan) и Anybots (USA) found their own solutions for this problem. They suggested using remotely controlled robots for simulating the presence of a manager in an office.

Sony developed a device called Telepresence Balloon — a relatively small airship type device around 3 feet wide that floats through open office spaces using small propellers. The user can control it remotely by watching live webcam streams, while the user’s face is projected onto the surface of the balloon. It probably look somewhat creepy, but it should also produce the desired effect (at least to a certain extent).

Anybots presented a less conceptual and a less frightening product — their robot uses wheels to move around the office and resembles WALL-E, a popular cartoon character, yet with a longer neck. Due to its design, it has one serious weakness — stairs.

Menace: revenge of former employees

21 March 2011

RevengeEmployers and their employees do not always manage to part peacefully. That’s why revenge is a fairly commonplace phenomenon that even such giants as Microsoft are not fully protected from.

Revenge can be take the shape of legal action taken against a former employer or even sabotage involving damage or deletion of internal documents and disclosure of corporate secrets.

These are the kinds of problems that Gray Wireline Service, an American engineering company, faced at the end of 2010 after firing Ismael Alvarez, an employee with a 7-year tenure.  Outraged by this decision, Alvarez hacked the corporate server and deleted important reports, as well as information about oil and gas wellsites.

The judge’s response was harsh as well: Ismael got 5 years of suspended imprisonment, 1 year of house arrest and was fined over $20,000 for his actions.

Gray Wireline Service made no comments as to whether the fired employee had access to these documents prior to leaving the company and whether the company implemented any, even the most basic, security features. As a rule, weak security policies are the main reason of such incidents.

A week ago, for instance, a company called PanTerra Networks (PBX provider) suffered massive damage from the actions of a fired employee only because her email account remained active for several months after she left the company. The fired employee found email messages containing confidential financial reports and contracts due to be signed. All of these documents were shared online, which resulted in damages of over $30,000 and loss of many potential clients.

Japan: employee monitoring using mobile phones

20 January 2011

Japan: employee monitoring using mobile phonesJapan has always been notorious for the industriousness of its people and the amount of time they spend at their workplaces, as well as ignorance of privacy-related matters both among employers and employees.

Employee monitoring using GPS-enabled mobile devices has been commonly practiced here for years. The technology is used for tracking the location of truck drivers, sales agents and even flight attendants.

This time, KDDI Corporation of Japan suggests using built-in phone accelerometers for more accurate recognition of users’ activities. The system correctly identifies such actions as walking up and down the stairs and room cleaning operations, for example.

The solution can be used practically anywhere. For instance, it can automatically send a notification to a company’s manager that a janitor or loader is having an excessively long break.

Russia is still pursuing the nation-wide integration and acceptance of its own navigation system, GLONASS, although without considerable success. Its developers plan to use it for child, employee, prisoner and vehicle monitoring. Russian mobile carriers have already started offering navigation services allowing companies to track the location of vehicles and employees using satellite navigation devices and mobile phones.

In the meantime, Russian bloggers suggested a rather original method of employee monitoring. To use this method, a company would need to hire a courier equipped with a digital camera, a wireless headset and a 3G-enabled mobile phone.

Once the “video courier” arrives at a construction site, for example, he or she can simply turn the camera on and show the management around the place – directly and without using fancy satellite equipment.