Data breaches instigated by former employees occur more frequently than you might realize. Find out how often these attacks occur, what they have in common, and how to protect against them.
Data breaches instigated by former employees do not gain as much media exposure as those caused by cybercriminals. However, these insider attacks can pose a significant threat to companies’ data as well as their bottom line, as the following examples demonstrate:
- Over a two-year period, the co-owner of an engineering firm accessed the servers of his former employer (also an engineering firm) as well as the email of a former colleague. He stole proprietary business data estimated to be worth around $425,000 (USD).
- For eight months after leaving a company for a different job, a man accessed the servers at his former employer. Besides deleting files, he shut down the former company’s trading system, making it unavailable to customers. In all, the estimated loss to his former employer is more than $10,000.
- After being asked to resign, a man accessed 13 servers operated by his former employer, a healthcare facility. He disabled administrative accounts, deleted business data, and deleted patients’ data, including their medical records, causing a loss in excess of $5,000.
Such incidents occur more frequently than you might realize. A 2017 study conducted by Arlington Research found that 20% of the 500 organizations surveyed were the victims of data breaches perpetrated by ex-employees.