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Read the case study “Data Security“. Submit a 2-4 page paper (excluding the cover page and reference page) answering the questions related to the case study “Data Security.” Incorporate theories and practices you learned during this course into your paper. Be sure to follow APA guidelines and write your paper in the proper format, not as a question and answer.
CHAPTER 14 Risk Management and Worker Protection 499 HR EXPERIENTIAL PROBLEM SOLVING Due to an increase in recent employee layoffs because of economic conditions and the increased risk of workplace violence, as well as an increase in domestic restraining orders that several employees have recently obtained against former spouses, company management has decided it is time to take a proactive position and develop a workplace violence action plan. There are many factors to consider, as your company has three locations and more than 500 employees. For information to assist you in identifying workplace violence categories and prevention strategies, visit the website at www.fbi.gov/publications/violence.pdf. 1. Which workplace violence categories are of most concern to your company? 2. What steps and provisions do you need to include in your workplace violence action plan? Policing the workplace used to mean reminding employees about personal phone calls and making sure that paper clips did not disappear. But with the computer revolution at work that began in the 1990s, checking on employee behavior at work became considerably more technical. The threats to data security, not to mention other threats for potential lawsuits (e.g., sexual harassment), are now more complex as well. New federal laws pertaining to financial and medical records have put increased pressure on companies to protect their data. But auditing user privacy cannot be done without input and buy-in from HR, notes a senior consultant with an IT security firm in Massachusetts. Whether the concern is in appropriate Internet usage or transferring files outside the company, HR may be the first to learn of a problem. Although the possibility of outside attacks on the computer network is a real problem, the threat of internal security breaches is even greater. The growing insider problem and the sheer volume of electronic messages coming into and out of a company (a large company easily processes one million e-mails per day) present HR with a challenge on data security policy development, implementation, and enforcement. HR may be asked to “identify personnel at risk” who might require more stringent watching, such as people who are sending out résumés. In many cases, people leaving organizations take advantage of the opportunity to take intellectual property with them. Security software identifying employee behaviors will always require HR involvement. Policy violations, banned sites, and stealing identity data are examples. Companies look very bad when sensitive customer or employee data are stolen or leaked to the public. Employees can easily resent the security measures and see the security as “Big Brother” watching. However, the growth of identity theft and spyware means that more employees have been personally affected by data security and are more likely to recognize the need for their employers’ data security efforts. At Spherion, HR publishes a “computer and telecom resources policy” that specifies appropriate usage and a code of conduct. Employees must read and sign the policy. The company also has an IT Risk Team with members from HR, accounting, internal auditing, and other departments. There are, of course, attempts at a purely technical solution to the problem. But it is clear that HR must have a role in balancing employee privacy with company risk management. A simple act, such as a bank’s loan officer burning credit information to a CD and selling the data to another bank, can undo all the technical protections. The human side—developing a policy, communicating it, helping people understand why it is needed, and applying it fairly—is the big piece for HR.56 QUESTIONS 1. How would you communicate a data security policy that required software checking of employees’ emails? 2. What elements should a data security policy for a bank include? 3. Employee data theft most frequently occurs with new employees or when an employee has given notice and is leaving. How would you deal with these two very different issues? Data Security CASE 5315X_14_ch14_p465-501.indd 499 315X_14_ch14_p465-501.indd 499 26/06/10 6:11 PM 6/06/10 6:11 PM
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