In poor economy, IT pros could turn to e-crime

Jobs losses and bonus cuts could push security gurus to the dark side.

Enterprises increasingly feel their employees will be more willing to steal data or sell insider knowledge due to the poor economy, according to an annual security survey conducted by KPMG.

Sixty-six percent of respondents felt that out-of-work IT workers would be tempted to join the criminal underground, driven in part by threats to bonuses, job losses and worthless stock options.

The E-crime Survey 2009, presented at the E-Crime Congress in London on Tuesday, surveyed 307 private companies, government organizations and law enforcement agencies.

In the survey, KPMG said that fraud committed by managers, employees and customers tripled compared to 2007, which indicates that the recession will likely only exacerbate those problems.

Employees often have "super access" to sensitive company systems and know those systems' weaknesses. It means that companies need to have strict procedures in place for locking those individuals out once they no longer work at an organization, the survey said.

The survey topped off a series of fairly gloomy presentations by security experts on the state of Internet security. Those experts are still seeing an exponential rise in the number of malicious software programs along with a diminished effectiveness of antivirus software.

Figures released by security vendor Symantec show that more than 2.4 million strains of malware exist, said Malcolm Marshall, a KPMG partner in IT governance.

The security community could soon "face a potential meltdown in the way we do e-business," Marshall said. That's due in part to IT professionals who aren't patching systems, cybercriminals refining their skills and a lack of security knowledge on the part of consumers, he said.

"We know that end users are broadly not sophisticated," Marshall said. "The reality is we are seeing more sophisticated attacks aimed at sophisticated people."

In other survey results, 45 percent of respondents who handle critical national infrastructure said they are seeing an increase in the number of attacks on their systems. Fifty-one percent of respondents from the same category said the technical sophistication of those attacks is getting better.

Sixty-eight percent said that of all kinds of malicious code they felt Trojan horse programs -- ones that are designed to look harmless but can steal data along with other functions -- had the most impact on their businesses. Rootkits are the next highest concern, followed by spyware, worms, viruses, mobile malicious code and, finally, adware.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags kpmginsider threatsinsider securitycybercrime

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?