Concerns about security have led many companies to install strong corporate security measures such as identity theft protection, strict password policies and other protective measures. But some people believe that companies have become too concerned about security in recent years and are lax on enforcing existing laws regarding computer crimes such as identity theft. Some thieves use sophisticated computer programs and tactics to break into network systems and gain access to employee information and programs. In some cases, intruders can gain access by using a virus or a rogue download program downloaded from the Internet. Other ways to gain access include breaking into the company network or compromising an individual computer. When someone breaks into a company system without authorization or is hired by an employee to access company data, they are likely subject to disciplinary action based on the severity of their actions.
Concerns about business computer crimes have led to an increase in training opportunities for employees, increased penalties for criminal acts, and greater efforts to detect and prevent the theft of company property. Companies are required by law to provide reasonable safeguards for customer information including passwords and secure business networks. To help deter computer crime, many companies now require all employees to be trained on how to recognize illicitly gained access to a company system or to report any suspicious activity involving personal computer usage. Stricter penalties have resulted in more cases being filed in state and federal courts, resulting in more lawsuits, settlements and guilty verdicts for those charged with crimes involving computer use.
Concerns about business computer crimes have also led businesses to implement more complex security measures. Company computers and systems are now protected with firewalls, software and other techniques to block the unauthorized use of password-protected areas and protect against viruses, spyware and other harmful programs. Companies also have become more diligent about monitoring their employees’ computer usage activities, issuing reprimands and terminating employees who engage in activity that would be deemed inappropriate given the type of access gained.
Concerns about identity theft are growing throughout all industries. Consumer identity theft is a rising concern because it allows thieves to steal financial information that would allow them to obtain new credit cards, loans and other forms of plastic-based purchases. Businesses that do not take precautionary measures to monitor employee computer use may be exposing their business to costly litigation and potentially having customers acquire new credit cards as a result of stolen identities. Businesses that provide employee discounts may also be at risk because of stolen identities, and the misuse of discounts may allow thieves to purchase expensive business equipment or items that would otherwise not be available to them. In some cases, stolen identities allow criminals to obtain new credit cards that could be used for further criminal activities.
Computer safety is a major concern for businesses across all industries. Employees must be educated about the best practices for securing their computer systems so that they can minimize the potential for becoming victims of theft. Businesses that allow employees to work off-site or to work from home need to be especially vigilant about protecting their computer systems from possible compromise. Off-site workers may not be as concerned about computer safety given the lack of time to check on their systems in person. However, the lack of access to documentation and support services may make it difficult for them to properly secure their computer networks.
Home security is another major concern for businesses across all industries. Employees must be educated about fire safety precautions and other safety habits that can reduce the risk of fire escape and injury. Businesses may want to consider the installation of panic buttons in various areas that are more prone to intrusion. Businesses should also install access control systems that require a PIN number rather than access codes. By educating employees on fire safety and other concerns, thieves may become less likely to target businesses with security systems.