The disclosure and mass publication of classified government documents and diplomatic cables on the WikiLeaks websites has riveted public attention throughout the world. It has also prompted considerable fear among companies and other organizations as reports emerge that WikiLeaks supporters and others are actively targeting these organizations in addition to government entities. As recent events involving the disclosure of information related to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a leading law firm have shown, no organization is immune from the “WikiLeaks phenomenon.” In response, many companies have begun to prepare a response plan for such potential disclosures and to review their own policies to ensure that private documents and communications are appropriately safeguarded and not widely disseminated on the Internet.
While the WikiLeaks phenomenon may be new, it has always been a cardinal principle of information privacy and security best practices that no computer system is impenetrable and no internal document or data isever completely secure from external view. Understanding the principles outlined herein – and acting upon them – can significantly reduce the risk of your organization being the next WikiLeaks victim.
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