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The Enemy Within: The Biggest Threat to Your Company's Critical, Confidential Data

July 26, 2010 Disaster Recovery

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 a recent study 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 matter of 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 web site 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 and suspended 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 records and history – in an effort to cover their tracks. Fortunately this company had a solid backup system in place and was able to immediately recover all the data within a few hours.

To protect yourself, we strongly recommend you have an offsite backup of your data in place. For our ConnectCare clients, we use ConnectCare DataSafe, which backups up each server every 15 minutes, and copies that data to a secure offsite data center each night, ensuring the data is complete safe and secure. Is your data safe? We can visit you at your office to provide you with a free assessment to help you determine your current risk, and what you can do to prevent a catastrophe from happening to you.

Let us know if you'd like to arrange for your free assessment today!


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