Story image

Singapore, Aus employees admit to snooping around corporate networks

24 Oct 2017

Employees in Singapore, Australia and across the globe are increasingly snooping their employer’s networks to deliberately seek information they are not permitted to access – and almost half of employees admit to doing so.

A new report from One Identity revealed that 94% of Singapore respondents said that employees in their organization try to access information that is not necessary for their day-to-day work, and 16% said it happens frequently.

When the employees themselves were asked, 47% of Singapore employees admit to looking for or accessing information about their company’s performance - information that is not required to do their job.

In Australia, 83% of respondents say their employees try to seek information and 65% of employees admit they have searched for or accessed information they did not need.

“Even though the majority of threats Australian organisations face due to their own employees tend to not be of malicious intent, the research shows a large amount of intrusive examining of information from employees when the data is outside of their responsibility. In reality, it could be that bit of intrusive meddling that puts organisations in a dilemma,” comments Richard Cookes, country manager ANZ, One Identity.

“Without proper authority of access permissions and rights, employees have a free-for-all to move about the business and access sensitive information such as financial performance data, confidential customer documents, or an executive’s personal files. If that valuable information ends up in the wrong hands, corporate data loss, customer data exposure or compliance violations are possible risks facing organisations that could result in irreversible damage to the business’s reputation or financial standing. The concern this should highlight is that organisations are very open to social engineering attacks where someone might join a company legitimately to attack it from within verses an external frontal assault. This makes protection of privileged access systems and applications from within even more important.”

IT executives are the most likely culprits by level: Globally, 71% of executives admit to seeking information, compared to 56% of non-manager-level IT security team members. Only 17% of non-manager team members admit to seeking information.

Smaller companies are also prone to bigger snoops: 38% of IT security professionals at companies with 500-2000 employees admit to snooping. At larger organisations, 29% of respondents admit to the deed.

“The alarming results of our study prove that employees in Singapore have a free reign to access sensitive information including financial performance data, confidential customer documentation, or even CEO’s personal files. Meddling with confidential information, even if it is non-malicious in intent, could lead to a serious damage to the business’s reputation and financial standing,” comments Lennie Tan, VP & GM of One Identity, Asia Pacific & Japan.

Globally, those who work for technology companies are more likely to search for information (44%), compared to 36% in financial services and 21% in healthcare.

“Businesses across the Asia Pacific region need to realize that potential cyber threats are not only coming from the outside of their organization,” Tan concludes.

Google puts Huawei on the Android naughty list
Google has apparently suspended Huawei’s licence to use the full Android platform, according to media reports.
Using data science to improve threat prevention
With a large amount of good quality data and strong algorithms, companies can develop highly effective protective measures.
General staff don’t get tech jargon - expert says time to ditch it
There's a serious gap between IT pros and general staff, and this expert says it's on the people in IT to bridge it.
ZombieLoad: Another batch of flaws affect Intel chips
“This flaw can be weaponised in highly targeted attacks that would normally require system-wide privileges or a complete subversion of the operating system."
Forget endpoints—it’s time to secure people instead
Security used to be much simpler: employees would log in to their PC at the beginning of the working day and log off at the end. That PC wasn’t going anywhere, as it was way too heavy to lug around.
DimData: Fear finally setting in amongst vulnerable orgs
New data ranking the ‘cybermaturity’ of organisations reveals the most commonly targeted sectors are also the most prepared to deal with the ever-evolving threat landscape.
IXUP goes "post-quantum" with security tech upgrade
The secure analytics company has also partnered with Deloitte as a reseller, and launched a SaaS offering on Microsoft Azure.
ExtraHop’s new partner program for enterprise security
New accreditations and partner portal enable channel partners to fast-track their expertise and build their security businesses.