Risk
7/15/2009
10:07 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
50%
50%

Will Unemployed IT Workers Turn To Cybercrime?

A weak IT market may create a boom in IT-trained criminals, a report from Cisco suggests.

A weak IT market may create a boom in IT-trained criminals, a report from Cisco suggests.Cisco's midyear security report, summarized here yesterday includes plenty of solid information and insight concerning the variety of threats we and our systems face.

And the report suggests as well that ranking high among those threats is the current sluggish nature of the economy in general and IT employment prospects in particular.

In short, IT staff, current, former and unemployed may have precisely the skills needed to make it in the one IT area that's booming: cybercrime.

I've railed here before about the challenges of keeping your guard up in terms of your IT staff without creating an atmosphere of distrust. This is one of those managerial balancing acts that far more easily railed about than implemented, but it's no less important for that.

Knowing who you trust, and who you can trust with the keys to your business's information -- which almost undoubtedly includes customer and vendor information as well -- is among the largest security challenges any business faces. And it is probably the largest of your security responsibilities.

Certainly when employees -- IT or otherwise -- are terminated for any reason, there are large and immediate security measures to be taken.

And Cisco is absolutely right on target in pointing out that [security]"contractors or other third parties... pose a very serious threat, as they know how to exploit an organization's weaknesses, security policies, and technologies to steal data, intellectual property, or money -- or simply, disrupt operations."

Therein, I think, lies one of the report's largest and most critical warnings. You're aware of the nature and trustworthiness of existing IT staff. You've taken precautions to prevent former employees from coming back to haunt (or worse) your systems.

But, particularly in lean times when considering outsourcing security or other IT functions that involve security access, you have to raise the bar for access, and keep it raised.

Outsider threats are magnified when you invite outsiders into your organization: Thorough, ongoing background and reference checks, performance -- and procedural -- monitoring for any unnecessary, unseemly or out-of-the ordinary access or use of company systems and information are mandatory when using IT contractors.

And that's as true in good times as in tough ones.

The complete Cisco 2009 Midyear Security is here.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-9605
Published: 2015-09-04
WebUpgrade in Netsweeper before 3.1.10, 4.0.x before 4.0.9, and 4.1.x before 4.1.2 allows remote attackers to bypass authentication and create a system backup tarball, restart the server, or stop the filters on the server via a ' (single quote) character in the login and password parameters to webup...

CVE-2015-2990
Published: 2015-09-04
Directory traversal vulnerability in NEOJAPAN desknet NEO 2.0R1.0 through 2.5R1.4 allows remote authenticated users to read arbitrary files via a crafted parameter.

CVE-2015-2991
Published: 2015-09-04
Buffer overflow in NScripter before 3.00 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via crafted save data.

CVE-2015-5612
Published: 2015-09-04
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in October CMS build 271 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the caption tag of a profile image.

CVE-2015-5688
Published: 2015-09-04
Directory traversal vulnerability in lib/app/index.js in Geddy before 13.0.8 for Node.js allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via a ..%2f (dot dot encoded slash) in the PATH_INFO to the default URI.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Another Black Hat is in the books and Dark Reading was there. Join the editors as they share their top stories, biggest lessons, and best conversations from the premier security conference.