• United States



by Sandy Kendall

What Do You Do About Visitors?

Apr 26, 20042 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

More and more, companies work closely with each other and with contractors on integral elements of products or services they are developing. As a result, ongoing work is exposed in the normal course of business. Its the chemical company salesperson visiting to perform an audit in order to troubleshoot problems that are causing foul-smelling formulas. Its the consultant on a project who is given a desk onsite for the length of the contract. Its the job candidate returning for a third interview.

What do companies do to safeguard their trade secrets or intellectual property in such situations? Mostly, they work with trusted people and require non-disclosure agreements at every turn. Many also restrict the areas where visitors may go. I recently asked several people working in companies with sensitive intellectual property or client data whether their companies have a no-camera-phone policy. All of them said they did not, and two said they either already used or were planning to use digicams for quickly sharing project data. Yet at secure facilities run by the government, a cell phone ban has been in place for quite some time. One principal engineer added that at their clients semiconductor fabrication plant, no electronics of any kind, including blank CDs, were allowed in without explicit consent.

Does your company have a well-defined visitor policy? Who developed it? Is it honored in practice? And does it workboth in terms of protecting your companys assets and its relationship with visitors? Let us know.