How Sensitive Could Data Be?

BeyondTrust, March 25th, 2011

Here at BeyondTrust, we work with some of the most sensitive information in the world. The kind of stuff that makes or breaks businesses, collapses empires, or creates headlines.  Ok – we’re being melodramatic, and we also deal with things as simple as system configuration settings that hike up help desk costs.

But it’s always interesting to hear extravagant cases of extremely sensitive, but small volumes of data. Like Goldman’s top secret algorithms, or a Wikileaks breach that could publically humiliate the company with as little as 1 or as many as 10,000 documents.

Today I read a story that made me think of an unexpected source – the feds completed a comprehensive “stress test” (see WSJ story) and the results of those tests are confidential. In other words, some banks could have been evaluated by the government and to have been evaluated by the government as unable to survive economic uncertainty.

That gets one to wondering, who has access to these reports, who would pay for them and what is the potential risk/damage to every major American bank?  Surely key corporate execs at the bank have the report results; lots of employees probably have some idea; government representatives have them; oh AND every IT staffer with access to the corporate email system.

If I was a departing employee in the IT department and I felt underpaid and under appreciated; if I was angry, resentful and truly motivated to cause harm to the company, that’s exactly how I would do it.