Corra Daily Planet » 2007 » May

Business Theft Can Be An Inside Job

Thu, May 31st, 2007 - 1:50 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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We saw this in the LA Times.

Big firms aren’t only ones hit by system hackers

Inadequately protecting sensitive information can invite intruders.

By Alana Semuels
Times Staff Writer

COMBING through the guts of the website for the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission, an information technology worker for the agency came across an intruder. Someone with an Internet provider address in Germany had broken in and looked at private information normally accessible only to commission employees.

The worker immediately shut the system down.

“The intruder was poking around and came in through the outside of our network,” said Richard Peters, the agency’s information technology manager. “They were probably looking for confidential data.”

Small organizations often think they are less of a target for hacking than large companies. But small businesses are often targeted by hackers who know that their security procedures might not be as technologically advanced as those of a bigger business with more resources.

For the entire article go to LA Times.

Corra finds surprising that so many companies will go to any extent to prevent hacking from the outside but will do so little to protect themselves from inside jobs. Whether the invaders are hackers, crackers or data thieves, when they attack it is your business that ultimately pays the price.

Surely, you should do all that is necessary to prevent hacking or cracking or data theft from cyber thieves. But you should also be protecting your business from disreputable or desperate employees who steal your valuable data, proprietary information and intellectual property. Not only do they commit out and out theft, such employees will steal passwords from other employees in different departments or on higher security levels and crack into the system.

That is why your HR department should have a pre-employment screening program in place. You should be including a Social Security Trace, a Credit Report and, naturally, a Criminal Background check. For those who have never conducted background checks before, you will find it extremely cost effective.

Don’t be caught with your guard down. Check them out before you hire.

Minimum Wage Can Help Boost Employee Productivity

Wed, May 30th, 2007 - 2:31 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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Employees Favor Minimum-Wage Hike


Most workers that are paid an hourly wage support a proposed increase in the federal minimum wage, even if it results in higher consumer prices and job cuts, a recent survey found.Of 500 employees polled nationwide, 65 percent said they favor the wage hike regardless of its potential impact on consumer prices, while 50 percent were in favor if it meant co-workers might lose their jobs, according to Dominion Enterprises, a Norfolk, Va.-based media and marketing firm.

For the full article go to

Corra knows that minimum wage is, well, minimal. Nobody is getting rich on minimum wage even if Congress does hike it a buck or so. But it may help advance the quality of life for low level employees. It may in fact give them incentive to be more productive in hopes of advancing beyond minimum wage.

Minimum wage workers are often transients. That is why you should be sure to run a Nationwide Criminal Background Check on your candidates, as well as a Social Security Trace. The trace will validate the social security number and for the most part indicate if it actually belongs to your candidate or someone else. If these employees drive at all for you, even on the most perfunctory level, then you should also run a Motor Vehicle Report.

It is just good plain sense to have an adequate employment screening program in place. It will prove extremely cost effective in protecting your business from litigation and liability issues arising from any number of things. So remember, as Corra says, check them out before you hire.

Immigrant Bill Or Not, Check Out Your Job Candidates

Tue, May 29th, 2007 - 2:15 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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Business Groups Attack Immigration Bill

Critics say the new Senate measure amounts to amnesty and will lead to higher taxes.

From: By: Angus Loten

Employer and employee groups alike are attacking a Senate immigration reform bill that balances tougher border and workplace security with a path to legal status for the nation’s estimated 12 million undocumented workers.Under the bill, which the Senate is expected to take up early next week, undocumented workers would pay a $5,000 fine and return to their home countries before applying for a renewable work visa. As visa-holders, they could then seek permanent U.S. residency, a process that could take up to 13 years to complete. It would also create a guest-worker program for new immigrants.

The initiative is the result of a bipartisan agreement and is supported by the president.

“Politics is the art of the possible and the agreement we just reached is the best possible chance we will have in years to secure our borders and bring million of people out of the shadows and into the sunshine of America,” Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), the main Democrat sponsor of the bill, said on Thursday.

Yet, even Kennedy admitted the bill “isn’t perfect.”

Some Senate Republicans have likened the visa provision for undocumented workers to amnesty for illegal aliens.

For the entire article go to

Corra thinks it’s amazing that any legislation of significance can be muddled down by bombast and other measure of insignificance. At the rate a major bill is passed these days, just imagine how long it would have take our forefathers to have ratified the Declaration of Independence. Forget about the Constitution. One of the great legal and legislative documents of all time would have been bogged down by partisan trivia and the eternal sound bite.

Corra can see both sides to the Immigration. And certainly there is a logical and rational approach to this situation. If we could devise legislation for the Civil Rights issues, then certainly we can figure out something with respect to immigration. But I guess that’s not really the point here.

What is the point is that while Congress struggles with this issue, there is no doubt a widening crackdown on employers hiring undocumented workers as well as undocumented workers themselves. Let’s face it, when you hire undocumented workers you are breaking the law. If you are unwitting, you are being foolish. If you knowingly hire undocumented workers, then you face criminal charges.

The government will crackdown even harder on businesses who employ undocumented workers. There will be increased fines and legislation to attach businesses an its their properties. You don’t want to be the poster child, the big business example, especially with an approaching election season.

So check out all your employment candidates. Demonstrate you performed due diligence. Run a Social Security Trace, a criminal check, and if they are driving for you, a Motor Vehicle Report as well. The background searches are cost effective, so don’t be foolish.

Check them out before you hire.

Corra Wishes Everyone A Happy Memorial Day

Fri, May 25th, 2007 - 2:10 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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Corra supposes on the cusp or our Memorial Holiday Weekend it is good the remember all the past travails our nation has faced and how we have surmounted those obstacles. We should enjoy the fact that on this weekend or any other, both men and women can get behind the wheels of their vehicles and head in any direction they choose. They can dress how they want and do what they want. Come Sunday the more pious among us can attend any house of worship of their choosing, or choose not to attend.

Too often, perhaps, we take these things for granted. But for the few of us he will visit the grave sites of our fallen soldiers and plant flags and flowers beside their stones, it’s not a bad idea to recall the sacrifices our fellow Americans have made so that we can barbecue any meat of our choosing and any beverage to wash it down. This all may sound like small stuff, but go ahead, just try and do without it.

Come Tuesday, we’ll all be back to work, running background checks on our new employment candidates. It never takes long for the weekend to fade away. But as for a moment of thought as to what we have in this country of ours, give it a moment and keep it close to your heart. Too many want to take it away.

Take care. Drive safe. Have a terrific Memorial Day. And when you get back, remember what Corra tells you–Check them out before you hire.

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