High-tech fraudsters facing cash difficulties could target their employers as the recession deepens, says a Midland business expert.
Business advisers Deloitte warned of the increasing risk of malicious activity and fraud from disgruntled IT employees.
Andrew Winters, partner in Deloitte’s risk management practice in the Midlands, said staff suffering financially could risk cheating their employer.
Mr Winters, who advises senior executives how to avoid risks posed by employees, said: “This could become a problem which might spiral for many companies unless adequate controls are in place. Re-organisations and cost-cutting may have taken place without taking into consideration the implication these have on business controls.”
His comments follow the 2008 Cyber-Ark Software annual survey, which revealed, if made redundant tomorrow, 88 per cent of 300 IT administrators would take valuable and sensitive company information, including CEO passwords, the customer database, R&D plans, financial reports, M&A plans and the company’s list of privileged passwords.
“Business of all sizes are facing cost-reduction initiatives with reorganisations, redundancy and recruitment freezes diluting control frameworks, particularly those reliant upon manual controls,” said Mr Winters.
“In a time of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever for companies to ensure they have the right balance of controls to prevent and discourage fraud in the workplace.”
Mr Winters said in a climate of job cuts, businesses needed to ensure they protected confidential consumer data from disgruntled employees so they could not ‘leak’ commercially-sensitive information to rival companies and the press.