Corporate Security: The People’s Problem

BeyondTrust, July 12th, 2011

Last week reports of a study done by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were flying around the Internet, highlighting that if you simply drop a bunch of USB drives in your corporate parking lot, approximately 60 percent of your employees will pick up the drives, take them into the office and plug them into their computer. While the results of this study are being disputed, this tells us one thing definitively: employees are a huge security risk.

Risks associated with employees and corporate security can take many forms, from malicious to accidental, but all have a negative impact on your company’s bottom line. Data breaches can occur from something as simple as an employee plugging in an unfamiliar USB drive, to something as complex as an attacker hacking into a less protected desktop within the organization, capturing that employee’s privileged identity and then using that information to move on to more valuable assets, such as customer information.

At the end of the day, we all want to believe ‘it can’t happen to me’, but with so many ways for data breaches to occur, no one, and no company, are immune. It’s critical for organizations to have the right least privilege strategy in place, including making certain that employees are only granted privileged access to sensitive information if it is really necessary, but the responsibility also falls to each and every one of us to do our part in keeping our company’s sensitive information safe.