Corporate espionage or information gathering is big business. Recent news stories demonstrate just how common covert activity has become and highlights that today’s threats do not come solely from competitors or overseas countries. Equally important are the ways in which employees themselves, deliberately or otherwise, create vulnerabilities in an organisation’s security. Most organisations face an “insider threat” and it is often more severe than an outside threat simply because insiders have access to potentially valuable information. Insiders are increasingly used to circumvent the tough security regimes that exist in most organisations today and during times of recession when the number of disaffected employees is on the increase due to downsizing, redundancies and lack of bonuses, the temptation for errant employees can be substantially heightened.
There are no official UK statistics however, according to commercial law firm EMW, claims relating to the theft of confidential information jumped from 23 cases reaching the High Court in 2008 to 95 in 2009. The Association of Chief Police Officers recently estimated that fraud costs the UK economy around £20 billion a year and that most fraudulent acts are committed by employees. Combine these figures with recent examples in the press and we start to get an indication of just how common the insider threat has become.
Insider Threat Examples
Consider the loss of the former Rover car plant at Longbridge to China after the company is alleged to have been infiltrated by the daughter of a Shanghai Automotive Industry executive which culminated in substantial job losses and a loss of UK heritage.
It was also reported that a former global supply manager for Apple sold company secrets to Asian suppliers giving the Asian businesses greater negotiating clout with Apple which adversely affected Apple’s costs.
Countering the Insider Threat
Many of these affairs are only possible because of an absence of sufficient preventative measures. A combination of technical and non-technical measures can help to identify and mitigate an organisation’s vulnerabilities against the insider threat.
To find out more, call Esoteric today on +44 (0) 1483 740723 or contacts us here.