IBM Security Tool Allows Employers To Track 'Disgruntled' Workers

IBM layoffs follow earnings surge
It's well known that employers have the ability -- and often use it -- to read their workers' emails. But new technology from the International Business Machines Corp., called IBM Security Intelligence with Big Data, allows your employer to track whatever you say on email, social media or anywhere in the Internet while on a work terminal.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based technology behemoth says the tool will enable chief information officers to quickly detect potential threats by scanning social media posts and emails, according to The Wall Street Journal. "By analyzing email you can say this guy is a disgruntled employee and the chance that he would be leaking data would be greater," said Sandy Bird, IBM's chief technology officer of IBM's security systems division.

Clearly IBM executives are excited about this prospect. Kevin Skapinetz, program director of Product Strategy at IBM Security Systems, explained to eSecurity Planet, the tool will allow employers to "literally squeeze every last drip of information."

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A post by the Journal's CIO report explains how the tool functions:

The new platform, based on Hadoop, a framework that processes data-intensive queries across clusters of computers, will allow CIOs to conduct sentiment analysis on employee emails to determine which employees are likely to leak company data, Mr. [Sandy] Bird, [IBM's chief technology officer of IBM's security systems division], said. That capability will look at the difference between how an employee talks about work with a colleague and how that employee discusses work on public social media platforms, flagging workers who may be nursing grudges and are more likely to divulge company information.

The extent to which the tool will be used by managers to gauge their workers' loyalty, or solely to track fraud, remains to be seen. An early adopter, Mark Clancy, the chief information security officer for Depository Trust & Cleaning Corp., insists his company is only using the tool to check for "improper file transfers."

Either way, IBM expects its key clients at first to be both large corporations and even governments, as a post on Network World, the IT trade publication, notes. And other companies, like EMC Corp., the New York-based information technology company, has announced it will soon be releasing a similar product.

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Filed under: Bosses, Employment News
Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

Associate Editor

Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.

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