Thefts prompt security fears

Bill Goodwin

IT directors are being urged to review their security policies following police raids on a gang believed to have been...

Bill Goodwin

IT directors are being urged to review their security policies following police raids on a gang believed to have been behind the theft of millions of pounds of computer equipment.

Computer equipment worth an estimated £15m has been stolen from banks and other institutions in the City of London in a series of burglaries over the past eight months.

More than 150 officers from the City of London and Islington seized stolen computer parts in dawn raids on 20 central London addresses last week.

Five city banks have been burgled, including Deutsche Bank, which lost equipment worth over £1m in a burglary earlier this month.

The gang, which detectives say has been stealing to order, has been targeting motherboards and other equipment made by Sun Microsystems.

Security experts have urged companies to review the security of their server rooms following the thefts which could encourage copy-cat gangs.

"This should encourage people to go back and look at their security policies, even if the incident has not happened to them," said Peter Yapp, security expert at Control Risks Group.

He urged companies to be particularly vigilant about vetting temporary staff and to make sure that IT workers are aware of the company security policies.

"There does seem to be an indication that the gang had inside help. Maybe staff have been blackmailed or maybe they have just given out too much information," he said.

Companies should also make sure that the access to server rooms is secured, that doors are protected with access codes or smart-card locks, and that high-value equipment is marked with invisible identifiers.

How to protect your servers

  • Make sure you have a coherent and effective security policy

  • Secure server rooms with at least a swipe card

  • Install CCTV cameras

  • Mark high-value items with invisible identifiers

  • Screen staff, especially temporary and contract staff

  • Don't leave packaging from expensive kit outside

    Source: Control Risks Group

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