Insider snooping is on the rise

Despite a sharp rise in data breaches and increased media awareness on the subject, the third annual Cyber-Ark survey reveals that 35 percent of IT workers now admit to accessing corporate information without authorization, while 74 percent of respondents stated that they could circumvent the controls currently in place to prevent access to internal information.

Cyber-Ark’s “Trust, Security & Passwords” is a global survey of more than 400 senior IT professionals both in the US and UK, mainly from enterprise class companies.

One of the most revealing aspects of the survey was found in the types and quantity of information employees would take with them if they were fired. As the economic climate has worsened, the survey found a sharp increase in the number of respondents who say they would take proprietary data and information that is critical to maintaining competitive advantage and corporate security.

When asked this year “What would you take with you,” the survey found a six-fold increase in staff who said they would take financial reports or merger and acquisition plans, and a four-fold increase in those who would take CEO passwords and research and development plans.

Organizations are increasingly aware of the need to monitor privileged account access and activity, with 71 percent of respondents indicating that privileged accounts are partially monitored, while 91 percent of those who are monitored admitting they are “okay with their employer’s monitoring activities.” Despite these efforts, 74 percent of respondents revealed that even with the controls being put in place to monitor them, they could still get around them, making current controls ineffectual.

Highlighting the ineffectiveness of current controls and access policies, 35 percent of IT administrators admitted they were using their administration rights to snoop around the network to access confidential or sensitive information. The most common areas respondents indicated they access are HR records, followed by customer databases, M&A plans, layoff lists and lastly, marketing information.

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