Recession will increase insider security breaches

Security attacks by former employees that have been laid off will increase during the economic downturn, Microsoft has warned.

According to the software giant, malicious insider breaches are on the rise this looks set to continue.

Doug Leland, general manager of Microsoft's Identity and Security department told the BBC:

"This is one of the most significant threats companies face. With 1.5 million predicted job losses in the US alone, there's an increased risk and exposure to these attacks".

"The malicious insider is classed as the greatest security concern because they have access, and relatively easy access, to corporate assets," said Leland.

According to Kevin Rowney from Symantec's Data Loss Prevention Unit, the culprits in most malicious insider attacks the culprits are acting in "revenge".

"We have even seen it as bad as people who got pink slips [redundancy notice], that day going to a customer data base and forwarding huge blocks of this data out the door so they can then set up shop and sell to the same customers the next day".

Stephen Midgeley, senior director at computer theft recovery, data protection and IT asset management provider Absolute Software, said: "With an increase in disgruntled employees comes and inevitable increase in security risks from the inside."

"Insider theft means the person stealing the laptop, or the information it contains, almost certainly holds the encryption keys they need."

"If the theft is targeted, the thieves sophisticated enough and the information desirable, then many kinds of encryption can start to look pretty shaky," said Midgeley.

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