Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


03:08 PM
Connect Directly

Survey: Poor Economy Leads To Rise In Sneaky IT Behavior

More than one-third of IT professionals have used their admin rights to view human resources records, customer databases, M&A plans, layoff lists, and marketing information

IT snooping is on the rise, with more IT professionals admitting they're tempted to abuse their access privileges, according to a newly released report.

The unstable economy and job market seem to be exacerbating IT pros' bad behavior: Six times more IT pros this year than last said they would take financial reports or merger and acquisition (M&A) plans if they were to lose their jobs, while more than one-third (35 percent) admitted to having abused their admin rights to view confidential data in their organizations, such as human resources records, customer databases, M&A plans, layoff lists, and marketing information.

Cyber-Ark's 2009 Trust, Security & Passwords Survey found that 74 percent of respondents stated they could circumvent controls currently in place to prevent access to internal information. One in five companies has been victimized by insider sabotage or IT security fraud, and 36 percent of those think their competitors may have been given their intellectual property or sensitive data. And 74 percent of the roughly 400 senior IT professionals from U.S. and U.K. enterprises who participated in the study said they are able to circumvent any security in place that protects access to internal data.

"This survey shows that while most employees claim that access to privileged accounts is currently monitored, and an overwhelming majority support additional monitoring practices, employee snooping on sensitive information continues unabated," says Udi Mokady, CEO of Cyber-Ark, which sells identity management tools. "Businesses must wake up and realize that trust is not a security policy; they have an organizational responsibility to lock down sensitive data and systems, while monitoring all activity -- even when legitimate access is granted."

If fired, more IT workers said they would take company data with them than those surveyed last year. This year's respondents would take customer database information (47 percent, up from 35 percent last year); email server admin accounts (47 percent, up from 13 percent); M&A plans (47 percent, up from 7 percent); R&D plans (46 percent, up from 13 percent); CEO's password (46 percent, up from 11 percent); financial reports (46 percent, up from 11 percent); and privileged passwords lists (42 percent, up from 31 percent).

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
Data breaches and regulations have forced organizations to pay closer attention to the security incident response function. However, security leaders may be overestimating their ability to detect and respond to security incidents. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-31
A path traversal flaw was found in Buildah in versions before 1.14.5. This flaw allows an attacker to trick a user into building a malicious container image hosted on an HTTP(s) server and then write files to the user's system anywhere that the user has permissions.
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-31
Dell EMC iDRAC7, iDRAC8 and iDRAC9 versions prior to,, contain a stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability. An unauthenticated remote attacker may exploit this vulnerability to crash the affected process or execute arbitrary code on the system by sending specially cr...
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-31
Leantime before versions 2.0.15 and 2.1-beta3 has a SQL Injection vulnerability. The impact is high. Malicious users/attackers can execute arbitrary SQL queries negatively affecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the site. Attackers can exfiltrate data like the users' and admini...
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-31
Elasticsearch versions from 6.7.0 to 6.8.7 and 7.0.0 to 7.6.1 contain a privilege escalation flaw if an attacker is able to create API keys. An attacker who is able to generate an API key can perform a series of steps that result in an API key being generated with elevated privileges.
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-31
In firmware version 4.50 of Zyxel XGS2210-52HP, multiple stored cross-site scripting (XSS) issues allows remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary web script via an rpSys.html Name or Location field.