The Greatest Risk to Your Data is Internal – Your Own Employees

Where Are Your Greatest Risks of Data Theft?

Forensic & Litigation Consulting

December 11, 2014

The media is regularly awash with stories of cyber theft. Headlines abound with analysis of faceless ‘hacktivist’ groups such as Anonymous, or state sponsored military units in North Korea. For many businesses, such threats may seem far away and irrelevant. The harsh reality is that there are tangible risks and these are often from those you know – current and former staff and others in your supply chain.

The story of a disgruntled staff member walking off with their employer’s files is one often told in management meetings. Many organisations carefully monitor staff who are about to leave and review activity after they have left the building. The sad truth however, is that it is not just ‘bad leavers’ that are the source of data theft.

We surveyed over a thousand white collar office workers of medium and large organisations in the UK. The findings of this research debunk myths, identifying a ‘rotten core’ of employees who perpetrate data theft from day one of their tenure. Whilst some of these employees claim ignorance of policies around data, many seemingly set out from their first days of employment to take their employers’ confidential data.

Management should take heed of the risks from within their organisations and consider a series of initiatives around governance, communications, monitoring, and investigations to resolve the challenges identified.

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