Many people wonder why hackers do what they do? What value does stealing corporate data have for rogue employees – also known as insiders. Just last week, there has been an influx of reports on data hacking incidents, these range from celebrities posing in a questionable manner to hacking a popular cloud service known as drop box, getting away with extremely sensitive information. The days of hacking credits cards are nearly coming to an end, because it’s much easier to get away with stealing data and making quick cash out of that stolen data.
How can stole data be turned into quick cash? The answer is simple to understand but difficult to carry out – at least for someone with little knowledge on data theft – going back to the main point, hackers connect with online black market networks which enable them to sell stolen data without any repercussions. This market is similar to the underworld drug trade, there’s no image, video, document or record that is worthless, almost everything could be sold in ‘Hacker Bazaars’. This data can be used to extort money, create fake identities and conduct terrorism to say the least.
Moving on, the days of keeping handy information on desktop rolodex are long gone, according to a study by the university of California, in 2002, 92 percent of all company information was saved electronically, be it on company servers, desktop or laptop computers. Fast forward to today, and the same statistic has grown to 97 percent.
Accordingly, with almost all organizations relying on computers, the threat of insiders has become a cause for concern. Organizations are competing for metrics, financial strategies, marketing strategies and HR data. What’s more, this data is accessible to most employees, some can view and some also have the power to modify it. Accordingly, employers who fail to keep their employees happy and satisfied with their working conditions are at an increased risk of becoming victim to insider attacks. To make matters worse, nearly 70 percent of employers have no idea how valuable even the smallest piece of information could be.
As often is the case, an employee becomes dissatisfied with his or her employer, and can get back at them by stealing sensitive corporate data, it could be strategies on cost cutting, marketing tactics to increase sales revenue, HR data on key employees or software code (in cases involving software development companies). Whatever the case, employers are defenseless in preventing employees from stealing corporate data. Once such data is stolen, the rogue employee can either sell it on the black market to make a quick profit, or sell it to a competitor who is willing to secretly utilize that information in improving its strategy. In the past, many unethical organizations have gained a competitive edge by enticing dissatisfied employee with a better job that comes with great pay, benefits and perks – given that these employees bring with them key data on their competitors.
Nonetheless, all hope is not lost, employers can take preventive action by utilizing data leak prevention software. One of the most trusted and highly recommended software to prevent data leaks is USB Block, not only does it block USB drives, it can block all sources of data leaks, including WIFI, CD drives and allows the admin to set special permissions.