Ex-staff a greater threat than expected

One third of ex-employees are able to access their former company’s data, with nine per cent having utilised these privileges, according to a new report.

The study proposes that 36 per cent of people have the ability to access their former employer’s systems or data after having left their job. The discovery gives rise to long-standing concerns that an insider threat problem may be a larger than it was thought to be.

A potentially greater worry is that nine per cent of 2,000 office employees in the UK and US who took part in the poll said that they accessed data immediately after they left their positions.

The report, ‘From Brutus to Snowden: a study of insider threat personas’, suggests that businesses and other organisations are failing to apply the relevant processes post-termination, which allows former employees to access data and systems once they have been removed from the company.

IS Decisions’ CEO, François Amigorena, commented:

“As the number of disparate systems and networks we use in our everyday working lives increases, it’s natural that access management is becoming a more difficult problem to address for organisations.”

For the issue of insider threats to be less of a concern, organisations need to tighten up their defences when it comes to their own data and systems. It is becoming evident that they need to open up more cyber security jobs to prevent system attacks, but they can also take simple measures by ensuring that ex-staff aren’t given enough leeway to cause a disaster.

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