The issue of insider fraud has been largely neglected by the channel. Businesses lose a portion of their annual revenue to fraud each year, so it is an issue that needs to be addressed – a good opportunity for resellers with a security practice especially.
It would be a mistake to think of insider fraud as only employees embezzling funds. The rise in volumes of digitised data held online means sensitive information such as customer lists, health records, mobile phone numbers or credit card data is accessible and can be sold on to criminals. BYOD only increases the risk.
In industries where being first to market is the main aim, theft of intellectual property can be tempting.
There is no typical profile of a fraudster. It could be a long-term employee committing the crime on a small scale for personal gain or a newer team player in thrall to a criminal gang.
It may even be someone who has infiltrated the organisation for the purpose of stealing information.
Frustratingly, it is often those who are most trusted and have all the necessary authorisations – perhaps even senior managers, as some studies have suggested.
The recession has surely made fraud and information theft more tempting. Mobile phone use has made it easier.
It need not be a dramatic heist. More likely, it's a steady drip of small amounts of money or lines of data. Such behaviour can go on for years if undetected, and the total loss can still be huge.
Until recently, it was extremely difficult to detect.
Enterprise fraud systems have got better at alerting businesses to suspicious behaviour. Modern business intelligence tools can tap into data layers and capture complete, real-time views of user activity across multiple data channels.
Monitored activity can include transactions that typically do not leave traces in corporate logs, such as queries and other read-only transactions.
These features enable a pre-emptive approach. Previously, threats tended to be addressed after an employee had already gained access to the system.
This means companies that once believed it was not possible to effectively stem insider fraud could well be persuaded to change their minds. The more money is spent on firewalls and other security measures to protect data from outsiders, the more likely it is that insiders will be targeted or tempted.
There has already been an increase in organisations either fully or partially deploying related products. But there are also many signs to suggest that the majority are not assigning the appropriate priority to the risk of insider fraud.
That could make a good business case for resellers and suggests further work to be done, alerting customers of the risks and ways to address them.
Dan Dunford is a security sales specialist at Attachmate
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