If you ask most business owners what’s the biggest threat to their company’s network and data, they might say, “viruses, hackers and cyber criminals,” or perhaps “faulty hardware, software and system failures.” But research is showing a much different reality, according to BCBA sponsor Connections for Business.
According to a recent study titled “Malicious Insider Threats Greater Than Most IT Executives Think,” published by Computer Economics (a research and metrics company for IT managers) revealed that employee sabotage – whether it be for financial gain, retribution or some other motivation – accounts for a bigger threat than viruses, hackers, hardware failures and natural disasters.
With so much critical data and operations tied up in a company’s network, internal sabotage from employees becomes an even greater risk. In a matterof minutes, an employee can delete software or erase years of data vital to a company. They can purposefully download viruses or attempt to tarnish their employer’s reputation by posting pornography on their company’s website or spamming all clients with racist, hateful and slanderous e-mails. Or they can simply download client lists and other confidential information and sell it to competitors, post it online or use it to start a competitive business.
What are the reasons why they do this? The biggest one given is simply “job dissatisfaction.” Another contributing factor seems to be the recent downturn in the economy. Cut backs, layoffs and fewer raises have given rise to employees stealing data, equipment or money. For example, a law firm recently discovered their internal IT person was purchasing computer equipment on the company’s credit card and reselling it on eBay. He had embezzled over $40,000 before the company caught up to what he was doing.
Another company suspected that one of their employees was stealing, andsuspended them from work until a further investigation could be conducted. When the employee caught wind of what was happening, they deleted over a year’s worth of company e-mails – all containing important client recordsand history – in an effort to cover their tracks. Fortunately this companyhad a solid backup system in place and was able to immediately recover allthe data within a few hours.
Contact Connections for Business to learn how to protect your law firm’s network.