The security week that was: 07/17/09

A weekly surveillance of the news shaping your profession


This next story is a business security scare of a different sort. Rexam, a healthcare products company with operations in the U.S. but based in London, alleges in a suit that a husband-and-wife team from Mexico were misappropriating the company’s plant and using the plant to produce products for their own medical products company. The suit also alleges embezzling and use of proprietary information as well. How did Rexam find out? The tip came in from an anonymous call to the company's hotline. I find it pretty amazing that something of this nature only came to light from a hotline call, but better that it was discovered that way than not all.

If the Rexam story doesn't already validate why you should be operating an employee hotline, with options for anonymous tips, then a report from the journal "Ethikos" may convince you. The journal reported that anonymous calls to hotlines aren't any less valuable than the business ethics hotline calls when the caller is named. The concern was simply that anonymity might encourage callers to make false allegations or frivolous complaints, but the journal reports that the anonymous calls were no less substantiated than their "known" counterparts.