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Security In Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting your critical IT infrastructure.

Size Doesn’t Matter When it Comes to Insider Threats

Post by Peter McCalister November 15, 2011

Rogue employees can be found at Fortune 500 companies down to small businesses with less than ten employees. If there is one thing we know, insider threats don’t discriminate based on size. Many small businesses unfortunately suffer from the “it won’t happen to me” denial syndrome. Yet according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Report to the Nation, the median loss suffered by organizations with fewer than 100 employees was $200,000.

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Insider threats are becoming a global phenomenon. Every company in every part of the world is subject to some level of insider threat. And guess what? Insider villains are just as unidentifiable in the UK as they are in the U.S. They appear just as innocuous in Poughkeepsie as they do in Perth.

You can’t rely on everyone being a saint or competent all of the time. It’s not just malicious employees intent on destroying information systems that can cause havoc, but also the negligent, misinformed, and downright nosey, who can compromise sensitive data. In most situations it’s more often than not the case that such people have way too much privilege access – admin rights on the desktop, root password on server – for the role they are required to play.

Whether we like it or not, good people can do bad things intentionally, accidentally, or indirectly, and it is our responsibility to take measures to prevent this. Implementing the best practice of least privilege and using a privileged identity management solution greatly helps to mitigate the risks of insider threats.

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