The Circle of Corporate Espionage, part 1

There was once a young office administrator, Chosimba, who was in line to become President of Pride Inc., a multinational corporation that specializes in the distribution of exotic animal meats. One day, Chosimba was given the task of purchasing a new copy machine; little did he know that this piece of equipment would determine his fate, along with the destiny of Pride Inc.

As an administrator, Chosimba had a lot of responsibility. He did a good job at keeping everything in his office organized, thanks to his personal mobile device, the Rafiki 2. The Rafiki stored all of his digital data to the cloud, but on the day Chosimba purchased the copy machine, his Rafiki was unable to assist him. This is because Chosimba purchased the machine from JTT Electronics, a new retail store that Chosimba was trying out because he got a 10% off coupon in the mail.

It turns out that JTT Electronics had a weird cash-only policy, which means Chosimba had to buy the copy machine without tracking it on the company credit card. Because Pride Inc. urgently needed a new copy machine, he went ahead and shelled out his personal cash to pay for it, knowing that accounting would reimburse him.

Later that day, Chosimba triumphantly returned to Pride Inc. with the new copy machine. Because the copy machine was urgently needed, Chosimba had to rush his lunch break. He put off entering the purchase into his Rafiki, and ate a quick sandwich in his office. After lunch, he quickly got the new machine up and running and was the hero of the day. His CEO, James Earl, was happy with the quick solution and all was well at Pride Inc.

Little did Chosimba know, his arch rival, Michael Scarn, a longtime employee from Human Resources, chose this day to hatch his plan to take over Pride Inc. Thanks to a tweet from Chosimba’s Rafiki, Scarn learned of the purchase from JTT. Unlike the rest of the office, Scarn did not click on the thumbs up “Like” icon. Instead, while Chosimba was installing the new copy machine, Scarn snuck into Chosimba’s office and stole the copy machine receipt off his desk. Scarn knew it was only a matter of time before Pride Inc. was his.

Six months later, Scarn was ready to put his plan into action. The whole time, Scarn had been working with a hacker friend named Hiena to create a computer virus that would stampede the company’s network by leaking sensitive information. This leak would lead to the firing of CEO James Earl. Scarn had the virus designed to make it look like it originated from Chosimba’s computer. In order to pull this off, Scarn needed two hours alone with Chosimba’s PC, a difficult task because Chosimba was such a loyal employee who rarely left his workstation.

Scarn needed a big distraction, and he got it the day the copy machine broke down. Being the office administrator, it was Chosimba’s job to resolve the copy machine issue. Chosimba checked the side of the copy machine to find the support phone number; he then called the manufacturer and was told that he needed the receipt to cover the warranty.

Chosimba then spent the rest of his morning checking company purchase records. He checked online banking statements, and even rummaged through his desk and file cabinet to try and find it. To get the needed warranty information, Chosimba drove down to JTT electronics and spent time with the store managers looking for proof of the transaction.

All this time Chosimba wasted looking for the stolen receipt was just enough time for Scarn to hack Chosimba’s PC and activate the stampede virus. While Chosimba was waiting for a copy of his receipt in the television isle at JTT, he saw on the news his beloved CEO being escorted away from Pride Inc. in handcuffs.

Because Scarn was physically at the office, the authorities put him in charge. He immediately e-mailed Chosimba with the news that the malicious code has been traced to his computer, and they were coming after him next. Chosimba panicked and fled to Africa.

If Chosimba had signed up Pride Inc. with Think Tank NTG’s vendor management IT service, then, to fix the copy machine, all Chosimba would have to do is call Think Tank NTG at 800-501-DATA. We would have then called the copy machine manufacturer on Chosimba’s behalf and arranged a fix. We would have had the warranty information on file and been able to get a repair person down to Pride Inc. as quickly as possible. Chosimba would have remained at the office, not giving Scarn the opportunity to sabotage the company’s systems. Chosimba would have then been promoted to CEO. Hakuna Matata!

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