SailPoint has recently released their survey results regarding employee behavior with respect to corporate data. An interesting figure indicates that 24% of the surveyed Brits mentioned they would copy electronic data and files to take with them when they leave a company.
This figure should certainly raise concern and comes as no surprise. In fact, a similar survey conducted by Imperva in 2010 covering 1000 individuals in London demonstrated how severe this problem really is. That survey showed that 79% of the respondents mentioned that either their organization does not have data removal policies (upon employee departure), or they were unaware of such policy. Furthermore, the vast majority (85%) stores corporate data in home computers or personal mobile devices. This is an immediate consequence of the trend called “Consumerization of IT”. While the common belief is that the insider threat is usually a corporate spy or a revenge-seeking employee, the reality is more mundane. As it turns out, it is the average Joe that represents the most probable threat. Employees enjoy legitimate access to sensitive corporate data while on the job. They use their access privileges to rightfully create copies of the information as they process it for their daily tasks. Upon leaving the organization, many individuals do not care to remove copies of sensitive information, and in some cases even develop a sense of personal ownership towards it. What should organizations do to prevent this data getting out of control?
- Enforce strict access controls over critical data. This access control should be based on a business need-to-know level. This cannot be achieved by a singular project but rather imposes a process of constantly evaluating user access privileges
- Monitor access to sensitive corporate data and maintain a detailed audit trail.
- Detect abusive access patterns to sensitive corporate data