ZIFFPAGE TITLEPreventing Data Theft

By Anna Maria Virzi Print this article Print

How does the Chinese computer maker secure its own laptops? Chief information officer Steven Bandrowczak says data-governance policies are the key.

Q: Could an employee walk out the door of your company with a laptop with lots of data?

A: It depends on what you mean by "lots of data." The CEO of the company has access to whatever he wants.

Q: How do you prevent a theft of data?

A: It gets down to roles. The salesperson has day-to-day information on the customers they are directly responsible for. But they cannot walk out with every single customer record. Our CFO has the aggregation of all our financials, but the CFO in a particular country can see only the data for that particular country. It's role-based. Obviously, the closer you are to the CEO's office, the more information you can access.

Q: Is the information encrypted?

A: It depends on the technology and where you are. Absolutely, when you look at key and strategic data for us.

Q: Laptops as well? How about your CFO's laptop?

A: A CFO today, gets access [to information] mostly through online systems. The back-end systems are stored, and the transmission of that data is encrypted. The CFO doesn't have the entire financial database rolling around on a laptop.

Q: But can someone still have all that data on a laptop?

A: Technically, they can. But we do not [have that situation]. Companies with the right strategies around data and privacy limit what information resides on a particular unit.

This article was originally published on 2006-06-15
Executive Editor
Anna Maria was assistant managing editor Forbes.com. She held the posts of news editor and executive editor at Internet World magazine and was city editor and Washington correspondent for the Connecticut Post, a daily newspaper in Bridgeport. Anna Maria has a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island.
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