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Credit crunch increases internal security risks

Ian Grant

Chief information security officers (CISOs) and human resources managers need to be on their toes as turmoil in financial services markets threatens to spill over into the real economy, says an internet security expert.

Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder and CEO of Kaspersky Laboratories, a Moscow-based internet security firm, said worldwide plummeting stock prices, forced mergers and acquisitions, and the threat of a recession "could prompt abnormal behaviour among staff".

Speaking to Computer Weekly about the effects of the credit crunch on IT security, Kaspersky said it raised the risk that some might be tempted to act abnormally.

He said data leakage prevention, such as stopping insiders from taking company information without permission, was a fast-growing area. He pointed to incidents over the past year, such as the loss of the personal details of 25 million child beneficiaries by HM Revenu & Customs, that had raised awareness of the problem.

He said people now faced the loss of their jobs and homes. They might be tempted either to take revenge on their employers by destroying or compromising company information, or to use it to improve their circumstances. "Either way, CISOs face an increased risk to company data," he said. "They should be getting together with HR managers to agree policies that reduce that risk."

Kaspersky said the present round of mergers and acquisitions also presented security risks. "Until the new systems are bedded in, there will be gaps," he said.


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