Why, is that a problem?

This company buys a small vendor that's been providing some business services, and the buyer is pretty sure all the due diligence is done, according to a pilot fish there.

"Prior to the purchase, we had been to the vendor's facility periodically and thought we knew what we needed to," fish says. "In the other facility there are a fair number of employees on various floors, and periodically new faces.

"Then one evening about a year after the acquisition, we heard through the grapevine that another business, in the same industry we're in, was storing their backup tapes at our acquisition's site. We had no idea this may or may not have been occurring."

This is very odd. It's not like the two businesses are friendly and wouldn't try to lure away business from each other -- they're clearly competitors.

A little quick investigating also turns up the fact that the recently acquired business doesn't always keep its front door locked. In fact, sometimes it's not locked when it actually should be.

Meanwhile, the competitor has full access to the building to pick up and drop off backup tapes. And the access is unsupervised. And the area where the safe holding the backups is located isn't secure at all -- anyone could walk in and up to it without anyone asking any questions.

And naturally, that's also an area where fish's company has business property and files stored.

"The IT group confirmed with the prior owner of the acquired business this was occurring," grumbles fish. "The prior owner made it sound like it was no big deal, as this was just a favor, like you just dropped your car off at your buddy's house to have him change your brakes.

"The question that immediately crept into our minds was, how many other secrets do we not know about?"

Sharky won't tell -- well, OK, I'll tell your story, but not who you are. So send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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