The economic situation is creating room for vulnerabilities and for mistakes to emerge.
Mark Fullbrook, UK director of Cyber-Ark Software, claimed that in a recent meeting with ‘both good and bad hackers' he asked them if the economy was opening up new opportunities for them.
He said: “The response was an overwhelming yes, with nearly everyone saying that the cut backs had caused jobs to be outsourced and, with less folks in IT looking after security.
“They were also quick to state that the sentiment amongst redundant employees was that of disgruntlement and that therefore they were more inclined to exploit loop-holes in their previous employers' networks.“
A recent Cyber-Ark survey amongst 600 office workers in London's Canary Wharf, New York's Wall Street and Amsterdam explored whether the recession was affecting peoples' attitudes to work ethics and data security. The results revealed that data theft and industrial espionage were on the up, not from hackers, but from the workforce itself concerned about impending job losses.
However Fullbrook claimed that 70 per cent of companies had implemented restrictions to prevent employees from taking information out of the office.
He said: “In this current economic climate employers need to be able to trust their staff, however, with everyone jittery about keeping their jobs - the instinct is to look out for number one. The result is that employers need to be stricter about locking down sensitive and competitive information.
“If times get hard, and they invariably will, companies need to ensure that any cutbacks aren't deeper then expected when stolen data unexpectedly eradicates any chance of survival. Cyber-Ark's advice is only allow access to your most critical assets for those that really need it, encrypt.”