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Attacks/Breaches

11/11/2011
09:28 AM
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Computershare Data Theft Underscores Insider Threat Risk

Former risk management professional walked off with confidential company data, says lawsuit.

Financial services and technology provider Computershare confirmed Wednesday that a former employee took confidential company data upon her departure from the company, but not shareholder data as was originally suspected.

Computershare earlier this year filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts to recover IT devices containing potentially sensitive information that former employee Kathyann Pace had taken when she left the company.

"Our employee handbook clearly states that all Computershare property must be returned upon termination of employment. As this was not forthcoming, we took appropriate action to ensure that no kind of confidential information remained in the possession of this ex-employee. Our approach in these cases is consistent, so this naturally included determining whether any confidential company information or proprietary or confidential shareholder information remained in their possession," a Computershare spokesman said.

The lawsuit resulted in the recovery of the IT devices. "As a direct result of the lawsuit being filed, we were able to gain access to the individual's IT devices, and a forensic investigation was able to verify that the information that resided on the individual's IT devices did not include confidential shareholder data, though it did include confidential company information," said the spokesman, who was unable to comment specifically on the case as it remains in litigation.

"All Computershare information was purged from the devices turned over by the employee during litigation," the spokesman said.

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