COMMERCE Magazine: Cyberspace: Protecting Data is Serious Business

Michelle A. Schaap was featured in a COMMERCE Magazine editorial roundtable alongside cybersecurity thought leaders from across New Jersey sharing cybersecurity best practices and successful client case studies.

She shared, “A client’s employee was on leave – and, in theory, not working – with unrestricted access to the firm’s systems and company-issued devices in possession. The client came to us seeking to terminate the employee for poor performance. Our Employment Group advised on how to terminate an employee on leave, making the client aware of the need to have a witness to the call.

The CEO went on to terminate the employee with a VP as witness to the discussion – but as the termination call proceeded, the VP suddenly realized that thousands of company files were being deleted.

Upon learning of this incident, I immediately went into damage-control mode, engaging forensic experts on the company’s behalf to maintain attorney–client privilege. I also dispatched a courier to the employee’s home to recover company devices, the employee’s spouse’s devices, a personal hard drive, and passwords to the employee’s and spouse’s cloud accounts.

All devices were recovered; and the forensic team removed more than 30,000 records from the employee’s and employee’s spouse’s devices and accounts. We have since worked with the client to implement a ‘least rights’ approach to access. Additional technological, environmental and operational measures have been implemented and documented to better secure the confidentiality, integrity and accessibility of the company’s critical assets.”

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