Tomorrow Never Downloads: Protecting Your Database from Corporate and International Espionage

Firewalls are the first thing companies think of when it comes to data security. What is the last security risk on an organization’s mind? Your most tech-savvy employee. If someone were to “get to” the employee overseeing your network, they would be able to do some serious damage. What are you doing when it comes to protecting your database from the employees you trust the most?
Protect Your Data from Those Closest to You
We’re not trying to make you paranoid. Instead, we want to raise awareness that the people overseeing your company’s network can be a security risk. If you think about it, the people that make up your work “family” come in every day and do their job because it’s just that; a job. They submitted their resumes and went through the interview process for financial reasons. Unless the person in charge of your data helped found the company and sits on your board, their loyalty runs as deep as their paycheck.
The reason you don’t want just anybody overseeing your data is because it’s your company’s most valuable asset. Buried away in your servers is financial information, vendor and client records, research and development data, your business plan, and a host of other files that your competitors (or any hacker) would love to get their hands on. Given the value of your data, and the desire that other companies may have to steal it, it would be very much worth it for a competitor to bribe an employee with a briefcase full of cash that far exceeds what you’re paying them so that they can know your secrets.
As a business owner, you may be thinking, “No way José! My staff is fiercely loyal. They compliment my outfits and laugh at my jokes.” There’s a fine line that separates flattery and loyalty. It’s up to you as a leader to know the difference. In a revealing survey by Cyber-Ark, close to half of employees interviewed admitted that if they were fired tomorrow, they would take with them their former company’s proprietary data. Translation: Almost half of the employees that high-five you in the morning would feel entitled to steal from you if you fired them. When it comes to corporate espionage, unethical companies wanting to rip you off know how to exploit this weakness–again, with a briefcase full of cash.
Protect Your Data from Enemies Abroad
This risk of data theft by your inner circle isn’t limited to bribes by your competitors. Your database may even be targeted by the enemies of your country. These foreign powers want to access your database or sabotage it and they too can do it by paying off your team. This may seem like something out of a spy movie, but ZDNet reports that it is a very real risk:
In recent months, the UK security service (MI5) has had a series of “high-level conversations with executives” to warn of the risk. The security service is warning that IT workers have been recruited to help overseas spies gain sensitive personnel information, steal corporate or national secrets and even upload malware to compromise the network.
Whoah. You may think that your business is exempt from international spy games, but foreign enemies are increasingly turning to sabotaging the databases of private businesses in lieu of traditional military operations against governments. Whether such a breach takes place due to a direct hack or because of the bribing of a staff member, it’s important to understand that your business isn’t exempt from such risk. Oh, and don’t forget, there are some hackers just doing it for the sake of doing it.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Company’s Valuable Database?
First off, knowing about the risk is half the battle. Now that you’re aware of the risk, you will think twice about giving a new hire complete and unfettered access to your company’s database. You will also want to take extra precautions when hiring an IT technician. Do a thorough background check and avoid putting someone in charge of your valuable files that has a gambling problem, drug problem, or is burdened by a lot of debt. People like this will be easily susceptible to bribes and quickly sell you out for a quick profit. Banks perform this same kind of extensive background check when hiring security guards.
Michell Consulting Group can help. You can outsource the overseeing of your IT to us. We will be happy to provide you with testimonials from other clients about our professionalism and our track record for keeping their databases safe. Rest assured, we make it a point to hire the best of the best with our technicians and we do everything we can to be as transparent as possible with our clients. The way we look at it, your data is Fort Knox and we are the security guards.
Michell Consulting Group can also remotely monitor your network with our managed IT services for any suspicious activity. We can alert you to such activity and we have the capability to deny network access to a suspicious user, even if it’s someone you trust. Don’t have your network downed by a hacker or your data sold out by someone who you think is loyal. Call Michell Consulting Group at 305.592.5433 today.