Corporate security - American business
Corporate security aims to protect the safety and viability of a business organization. Since September 11, 2001, corporate security has become an increasingly important issue. A survey of corporate executives a few months after the World Trade Center attack reported increased concern about mail processing, travel, protection of employees and INFRASTRUCTURE
, and other security issues. With the anthrax mailings shortly after 9/11, mail processing has become a major concern. The U.S. Postal Service
provides guidelines, cautioning recipients about mail from unknown sources with multiple stamps and no return address. Companies have instituted a variety of mail-security practices, from the use of latex gloves and masks to the use of a separate room with no connection to the central ventilation system. Building security is another area of concern for businesses. Simple changes such as increased surveillance cameras, ID badges, and visible security guards are being used in many companies, especially in headquarter buildings and among companies more likely to be threatened by terrorism. Concrete barriers, shatterproof glass, controlled access, and protection of a building’s ventilation system are additional building-security measures that companies are instituting. Some firms are constructing safe rooms, providing safety kits, and redesigning floor plans with security in mind. One architect says the new question being asked is, “How do you get the last person in the corner office of the top floor out of the building safely?” Business travel is another worry for corporations. Since 9/11 many companies have reduced and even banned employee travel abroad. While executives continue to pursue international expansion plans, companies are offering travel-security advice, hiring bodyguards and bullet-proof limousines for executives and purchasing security and intelligence bulletins for areas of the world where they do business. The general travel-security rules are: be more discrete, do not dress lavishly, replace business luggage tags, move through open areas of airports to secure areas as quickly as possible, and do not have pick-up drivers displaying signs with the company’s name at arrival areas. Even before 9/11, computer security was a major corporate concern, especially given constantly changing technology. The many stories of hackers accessing sensitive company data or destroying important data files had already increased corporate computer security efforts. Major companies often hire “ethical hackers” who attempt to find weaknesses in the firm’s computer security system. The American Society for Industrial Security reported onsite contractors as the major threat to a company’s INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
. Current employees and former employees were ranked the second and third sources of corporate-security problems. Most corporate losses due to contractor or employee sabotage are never reported or prosecuted. One story described a disgruntled employee who, sensing he was about to be terminated, set up a program to crash the company computer and, when dismissed, called his assistant, who mistakenly activated the program at his request. The value of continual back-up data storage became apparent to many companies after the events of 9/11. Data storage, back-up facilities, disaster plans, and the federal “shadow” government facilities are all part of increased efforts and concerns about corporate security.