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Dell SecureWorks Will Probe Customers’ Social And Family Lives

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe’s Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Security arm of Dell offers to look for leaks coming from the top

Dell SecureWorks is to probe its customers’ social lives. The company is offering to help senior executives at its customers ensure their family members are not putting business data at risk. Coincidentally, the move comes after it was revealed that Michael Dell’s daughter caused a security breach.

Dell has launched a set of Targeted Threat Intelligence Services, including one called Executive Threat Surveillance. It asks company execs at Dell customers to co-operate and open up on what they’re doing online, so that they aren’t leaking data unnecessarily or opening up information that could be of use to hackers trying to break into the business.

Dell SecureWorks wants to know you better

In Dell’s words, it wants to “identify risk that may be inadvertently or intentionally created by the actions of executives or others in their immediate social sphere”. That “can include extended family at the customer’s request”.

Earlier this year, Michael Dell himself had an issue with a family member exposing data that could have proven valuable to an enemy of the Texas tech giant. His daughter had her Twitter account removed after she revealed secrets about the location of her family, compromising the $2.7 million a year security Dell is thought to rely on to protect his family.

“We need to be speaking to the executives under threat,” Don Smith, technology director at Dell SecureWorks, told TechWeekEurope. “You need to understand, in role terms, what are the main risks the business is facing.

“I’d recommend to the senior security people to go and talk to their CEO and ask him what would be a disaster? You have all this data, but what is the nightmare scenario? It’s really about having a practical conversation about what they’re worried about.”

Smith suggests customers should tell Dell about their business: “Then we interpret that and turn it into the sort of monitoring you need to carry out.”

The Security Risk and Consulting (SRC) arm of Dell SecureWorks will also closely monitor what is being said about company executives too.

Dell has also launched Targeted Threat Surveillance and Enterprise Brand Surveillance, supplementary to the Executive Threat Intelligence services.

The first takes research of the SecureWorks’ Counter Threat Unit (CTU) and correlates it with data from the customer’s infrastructure and from digital traces across the Internet, to identify threats facing an organisation. They will then analyse the threat to determine its potential impact.

Enterprise Brand Surveillance offers “real-time monitoring” of mentions of the business, to determine where a threat might be brewing, from a comment from a disgruntled employee to the launch of an Anonymous operation.

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