Cubs brass takes steps to bolster computer security

Written By BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter Posted: 08/04/2014, 06:16am

BOSTON — The computer ­security breach that exposed the Houston Astros’ private trade memos to the public a few days ago sent shock waves through the game and gave the Cubs one more priority task for July.

“It is scary for all of us,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said, “and I’m sure you have 29 other teams that are talking to their IT departments about making sure that doesn’t happen because ­everybody keeps trade notes and ­discussion notes.”

And not on yellow legal pads or in files in metal cabinets anymore.

The Astros’ 21st-century, Ivy League front office learned the hard way about the high-tech risk that comes with the high-tech ­reward of state-of-the-art proprietary information systems that clubs throughout the game are using to improve scouting and other baseball operations systems.

Hoyer said Cubs baseball operations officials already are working with the team’s IT department to try to improve safeguards against hackers.

Details of conversations last summer and winter between ­Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and other team officials with executives from several other teams regarding potential trades were published online this week following the breach.

“They were the unlucky one of 30 that had it happen to them,” Hoyer said. “And I think they’ve got a good IT department.”

Certainly, it could have been worse, if more sensitive information had been stolen or if the notes were critical of other teams, ­players or execs.

“I read through Houston’s stuff,” Hoyer said, “and I think their stuff was really professionally handled. …

“In the end, they were probably embarrassed that it got out. But in a lot of ways, I don’t think anyone faults them. It’s just everyone in this world is probably somewhat vulnerable.”

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