A recent survey conducted by UK company Cyber Ark Software in which 35 percent of IT administrators believe information has been passed to competitors through staff is supported by Computer Forensics managing director Brian Eardley-Wilmot. He agrees that the biggest culprits are usually disgruntled employees and ex-employees.
"Many companies are blissfully unaware of the risk they face when a disgruntled employee leaves the company. The risk is equally high across all departments and for large or small companies. “
The survey which spoke to over 400 IT administrators at Infosecurity Europe and RSA USA conferences reports that databases and research and development documents were the most-at-risk sensitive information.
According to Eardley-Wilmot, databases are easy pickings as they can be copied and taken off site by users without being seen.
“It’s just far too easy in most companies for an employee to copy confidential data to a USB stick or email it off-site.”
He says it is unlikely the findings would be different if the survey was done locally.
“In over 10 years of conducting computer investigations we have noted that if managers suspect data theft has occurred, 99 percent of the time they’re right."
Eardley Wilmot says if a company suspects an incident has occurred it is important that computer forensic experts in the field are called in and an investigation started.
"Over time vital evidence can be overwritten."