What the WikiLeaks Episode This Week Should Mean to You

Updated: July 27, 2010

I am not going to speak to the repercussions this is going to have on the War in Afghanistan, US spy operations, or even the ethics of what WikiLeaks is doing. You will certainly hear your fill of that in the news in the next several weeks. I want to address the security risks posed by the availability of a site that is pretty good about protecting the identity of its contributors.

Just as when markets developed for credit card data we saw a rapid rise of insider theft of data, I believe that as more people become aware of WikiLeaks after this incident there will be more and more incidents of private and secret documents being published where everyone, especially journalists can access them. Why is this different than the blogs and forums that already exist? The difference is the assurance of anonymity. Whistle blowers, political operatives, competitors, and yes, your employees could make use of Wikileaks to do damage to reputations, business relationships, and brands.

My suggestion is that everyone consider the risk of this type of exposure of your private and secret data. It calls for enhanced security efforts, stronger authentication, and network monitoring. You could throw in end point protection, encryption, and DLP (Data Leak Prevention) as well.

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