The Sun reported earlier this week that a secret dossier detailing plans for policing this summer’s London Olympics were left on a train. Included in the dossier were names and mobile phone numbers of constables, sergeants and inspectors as well as details of pre-Olympics rehearsals, emergency “lock-down” procedures and plans to avoid traffic congestion.
The Guardian wrote an interesting post criticizing the Sun because of its dramatic reference that the file “contained details that would have helped al-Qaida terrorists mount a devastating attack on the Games in London this summer.” Before I get too involved with The Sun verses The Guardian newspaper, my point is that we should ensure the possibility doesn’t happen that an al-Qaida operative is on the same train at the same time as a police officer leaving a security dossier.
On this note, I couldn’t help wonder if SharePoint could have prevented this situation in the first place? Lost documents are nothing new so why does it still happen? Secure documents do not need to be left in places because they shouldn’t be printed in the first instance. It makes more sense for organizations to use SharePoint with a specific automated rules engine to define the parameters that people can access information.
In this instance, if the document was available to the constables, sergeants and inspectors mentioned in the dossier, they should only be able to access it from a computer using a secure SharePoint connection. Then, they should only be able to read it on screen or comment in a secure Team Site on the platform. No printing of the material should ever been allowed. Not only would this mean no loss of documents, but it would also help the Met monitor who was reviewing the information and how the readers felt about the plan (using the Team Site) to make improvements such as the radio comments that appeared in the dossier. Lastly, the Met could see if there was any person wanting to print the materials or access it inappropriately.
SharePoint could lend itself to a useful collaboration tool for the Met. If used with appropriate, automated compliance and security solutions, SharePoint could ensure that instances like this would be a thing of the past.
To help discover the range of issues driving organizations toward stronger content security and policy enforcement, and learn how the most forward-thinking organizations are managing content compliance, download a privacy whitepaper.