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Protecting Your Privacy in a company

by dcblair / September 17, 2009 1:17 AM PDT

Hi. I am an auditor and am concerned that the IT security personnel here may invade our privacy at times. Though they ultimately have access to whatever is stored on the server and on our computers, we are not comfortable with them viewing our screens while we work and though it is not company policy to do this, we suspect that they are.

All of us have administrative privileges local to the machine (Vista). Is there something we can install to either detect when they are connected or prevent them from connecting without our expressed approval?


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Take this to your HR person.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2009 1:27 AM PDT

And have them write it into the company "rules." Now get the IT staff to sign off on it. Make such a breach grounds for dismissal.

And any decent firewall should do fine here. Not that I offer a tutorial on such but that's all we need.

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by dcblair / September 17, 2009 1:36 AM PDT

There is currently a corporate firewall installed on the machines but they will obviously have created the relevant rules allowing them to remote access. Would installing another firewall assist us in our endeavors?

Additionally, even if we make it company policy for them to sign off on, they can still do it and it would be difficult (without appropriate tools) to determine so.

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You need to change the rules.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2009 1:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Firewall

To disallow ANY outside access. It will take too many words to explain why allowing such access must be forbidden.

And your common firewall logs such attempts so it would be all too easy to print that log and take it to HR.

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by dcblair / September 17, 2009 2:15 AM PDT

We would never want to deny access to our computers. We know that they are the administrators and should have access. What we don't want is for them to be on viewing our screen without us having the allow that access. For example, if they need to connect, a software (whether it be a firewall or personal IDS) would prompt to say to a user wants to remotely connect or view your computer. Do you want to accept it?

This way we would know that they are on. We can close our encrypted files while they are on and then open them when we are sure they have finished doing whatever they are doing. We don't have a security specialist to go through logs to determine breaches and as such IT can get away with anything. Audit wants to limit that.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2009 2:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Rules

I've been here before. Make the AUDIT folk responsible for fixing the issue they created.

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PS. Those encrypted files = not safe.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2009 2:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Rules

Many companies used EFS from Microsoft. For years we've recovered those with ease. Look up www.lostpassword.com

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On A Few Such Computers Here...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / September 17, 2009 2:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Firewall

As part of a large government agency, we have similar issues to yours. As a local system admin, I've received approval for and have installed a different firewall on a couple computers in our office so I have control over them instead of the main agency admins.. As such, although I've set up the firewall so our agency admins have normal access, it IS possible to lock down the firewall at specific times so NO ONE has access to the computer during the lock down. We use it when preparing highly confidential documents and cases.

Something as simple as ZoneAlarm will allow you to block all outside intrusions attempts but as I mentioned above, I have approval to do so by our main IT folks and I only use it when special privacy is needed.

Hope this helps.


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Good Advice
by dcblair / September 17, 2009 11:28 AM PDT

Thanks. Since I also have local administrative privileges I will be seeking approval to install a firewall on our machines.

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Be sure not to confuse Company Privacy with personal privacy
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2009 1:44 AM PDT

Sometimes people forget there is a difference.

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