It has long been maintained that you have to be crazy to work in the IT business, and now it’s official. A recent study by the U.S. Secret Service, (who must be considered eminently qualified to recognize the symptoms) and Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute CERT Program, analyzed insider cyber crimes across critical infrastructure sectors and found that insider sabotage was in virtually 100% of cases carried out by people who are disgruntled, paranoid, generally show up late, argue with colleagues, and generally perform poorly.
No surprise there HOWEVER eighty-six percent of them held technical positions and ninety percent had system administrator or privileged system access!
Interesting! Forty one percent of those who sabotaged IT systems were employed at the time they did it BUT the majority were done by insiders following termination. Sixty four percent were infiltrated with VPNs using the old passwords that had never been terminated and thus taking advantage of a lack of security controls and gaps in their organization’s access controls.