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New Computer Security Tool Alerts Employers To Complainers

New IBM tool seeks to search out disgruntled employees.

The next time you want to complain about your boss or your job or that annoying co-worker who picks her nose and wipes it under her seat, don’t do it via computer. Instead, take your complaints out to coffee, or at least to the restroom. IBM has unveiled a new security tool designed to help bosses seem out “disgruntled” employees who may leak company secrets or act disloyally.

The tool uses Big Data to scan emails, financial transactions, Web visits, and even social media activity to help companies root our disloyal employees who may pose a threat to the company. The tool can even spot an employee who “expresses something upbeat to a manager and portrays things differently to a peer, parsing language patterns to determine if the sentiment is positive, negative or neutral.” In other words, if you tell your supervisor “That’s a great idea!” then post on Facebook that your idiot manger’s idea is ridiculous, Big Data knows. This feature is known as “sentiment analysis.”

As MSN Now summarizes: “Big Data, meet Big Brother.”

Sandy Bird, chief technology officer of IBM’s security systems division, notes, “By analyzing email you can say this guy is a disgruntled employee and the chance that he would be leaking data would be greater.”

As corporate fears about data leakage and hacker attacks rises, chief information officers are tasked with defending companies against increasingly “sophisticated” intrusions, reportsThe Wall Street Journal.

The new tool helps companies protect themselves against these threats by allowing security personnel to look for patterns in past attacks — like the time, date, and location of said incidents — over past years, since the tool allows for analysis of past and present data.

The “disgruntled employee” bit is just one of the perks of the program. Mark Clancy, chief information security officer for Depository Trust Clearing Corporation and an early user of the tool, notes that he isn’t planning on using the sentiment analysis feature of the tool. He plans instead to run queries that employ the use of large stores of transactional data, emails, and travel records, in order to detect “improper file transfers.”

It’s more productive than a computer than can swear, at the very least.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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2 Responses to “New Computer Security Tool Alerts Employers To Complainers”

  1. Wolff Bachner

    as ever day goes by the wonderful device that was supposed to liberate us is becoming more of a tool to enslave us. scary.good story Megan.