Tech-security legal guru expects growth of fraud
May 22, 2006
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
Bart Lazar scares me.
He gives me the heebie-jeebies. Sometimes after talking to Lazar
I can't sleep at night.
at Lazar, you wouldn't expect him to be threatening. The 45-year-old
intellectual property law partner at Seyfarth Shaw stands 5 feet
10 inches, and weighs 195. He looks more like Dan Aykroyd in "Ghost
Busters" than a mugger.
It's the stories Lazar
tells about tech security breaches that get the hair on the back
of my neck up like the shower scene from "Psycho."
Lazar is one of our
town's top tech-security legal gurus. He represents companies
coping with IT security breaches, and tries to help others prevent
them. He's a hot ticket on the lecture circuit coaching senior
executives on the legal ins and outs of tech security.
Lazar disguises the
stories he tells to protect the identities of the guilty and the
innocent. But the vignettes are juicer than anything facing Teri
Hatcher on "Desperate Housewives" or Kiefer Sutherland
reasons to hack
Lazar represents companies
where angry employees hack computer systems to steal the identity
of a disliked senior exec to defame him. He handles cases of extortion
and misappropriated trade secrets. One client suffered hackers
who stole company information to support an identity theft business.
There was the time an employee read his bosses' e-mails to find
company secrets, and pass them along. There was even a group of
IT execs who tried to hold their company hostage to avoid an outsourcing
I called Lazar last
week because I was out in San Jose, Calif. I feared someone had
snapped a cell-phone photo of my driver's license. If true, how
could I protect myself from identity theft?
Says Lazar, "They
could take your driver's license number, and merge it with publicly
held information, and get a credit card. I've seen credit cards
issued in people's dog's names. It's unlikely, but stay alert."
Lazar urged me to watch
my credit-card statements. He suggested I request a free credit
report at (877) 322-8228 or online at annualcreditreport.com.
to one free credit report annually," Lazar says. "You
can also place a fraud alert by contacting the three credit reporting
organizations: Equifax.com, Transunion.com or Experian.com."
Lazar believes security
issues will increase because our work force is increasingly mobile
and equipped with more portable devices.
Data on laptops worry
Lazar. He suggests corporate IT execs request vendors encrypt
their customer data, and be wary of allowing sensitive data on
"Expect more security
legislation," adds Lazar, who encourages executives to "get
ready and get used to it."
Lazar tells CIOs to
"understand what's driving legislation, and design systems,
policies and procedures that meet those underlying principles."
How's business? Lazar
says there's plenty of computer fraud out there to keep him occupied.
Unfortunately it's a growth industry.
Robert Rosner, Argonne
National Laboratory director and University of Chicago astrophysicist,
headlines Wednesday morning's Tech Forum at the U. of C.'s Gleacher
"We want to kick
off Argonne's 60th birthday by highlighting Bob Rosner's scientific
vision and ambition for the Laboratory and Argonne's ongoing commitment
to promote collaborative activities," says U. of C. Associate
Vice President Robert Rosenberg.
Rosenberg wants to
highlight the breadth of resources and science at Argonne and
make corporate connections that lead to new entrepreneurial ventures.
Incoming U. of C. President
Robert Zimmer is creating positive buzz. Word is he and Argonne
Director Rosner fit like a hand and a glove.
That could help assure
that the U. of C. maintains management of Argonne. The U. of C.'s
contract is being reviewed by the Department of Energy.
"Zimmer is a terrific
choice," says U. of C. entrepreneurship professor Steve Kaplan.
"Expect he will do good things."
an anniversary, its 10th on Thursday, is the U. of C.'s Edward
Kaplan New Venture Challenge, one of the region's top entrepreneurship
The competition is
funded by Rogers Park native and Zebra Technologies founder and
CEO Ed Kaplan.
Krauss is a Chicago area tech writer and consultant.