Wednesday 7 October 2009

The dirty little secret your bank may be hiding

This summer Actimize found that nearly 80 percent of financial institutions worldwide say the insider threat problem has increased in the wake of the economic downturn, with only 28 percent of the banks surveyed not suffering an insider breach. Surprisingly, the majority of the breaches are coming from what the industry calls “trusted insiders,” full-time employees with access to data. Interesting also is the fact that the recession has caused many employees to cross the line. Some are in financial need, and others are resentful of longer hours or expanded job responsibilities due to lay-offs.

The typical response – reduce access to sensitive data – is difficult to do in the financial services industry, in which access to customer and company information is a necessity to do most jobs. The answer needs to be broader and needs an accompanying change in attitude. Banks, like any organization, should assume that their data is under threat from insiders and should take steps to ensure their protection measures are in line with this thinking. Some examples would be blocking large amount of data downloads, stopping downloads during off-hours, and preventing certain types of changes. The technology is there and, unfortunately, today’s threat environment demands this level of protection.

In these tight economic times, organizations must not take extra risks by reducing IT security budgets.