Online crime has been steadily on the rise ever since the inception of the Internet. Fairly quickly, hackers were able to find ways to compromise and steal important data in order to use it in all manner of crimes. From releasing sensitive company operational data to exposing it to outside entities, both unwitting and deliberate breaches of security continue to plague businesses daily.
Also included in the cyber crime mix are employees, some of whom wreak havoc by breaching even the most elaborate security systems with a simple password infraction. If you consult a criminal attorney, they would tell you that quite often these crimes are even committed by dedicated and even well-meaning employees that are totally unaware of how their actions are affecting the entire networked computer system and critical company operations.
Employee Security Breaches
The number one cause of employee cyber crime usually involves a security breach of some kind. Whether it is accessing the network remotely from an unsafe location or failing to follow internal security procedures, there are many ways that employees can inadvertently cause much devastation for a company by exposing it to security hazards.
In fact, it is the accidental security incidents caused by company insiders that actually occur more frequently than deliberate attacks, due to their frequency of access. Therefore, these incidents have a far greater potential to negatively impact a company’s operations than any type of traditional malicious act.
Common Employee System Compromises
The more common kinds of incidents involving employee online crime can include data loss, spyware and malware attacks from inside the company, excessive or inappropriate access, privilege rights and deliberate security policy and information violations. Negligent data loss was considered the most common infraction in the public, healthcare and financial sectors.
Employees should be properly trained to understand how their actions could affect the computer network, and thus, the welfare of the entire company. Should they compromise sensitive data, even unintentionally, this not only endangers the company operations, but also opens up the company to litigation from clients, customers, partners and contractors who are damaged as a result. Just one lawsuit of this type could put a company out of business for good.
In order to minimize their online crime risk, companies need to have a comprehensive framework for risk management with regard to their technological operations all across the board. This will include proper policy and procedures in place that are well executed, monitored, assessed and adapted as necessary on a consistent and regular basis.
Every effort must be made to reduce the possibility of vulnerabilities before they start by managing misconfigurations, reducing regulatory compliance violations and controlling any incident of information leakage.
Online Security Protection
The system should be monitored, updated and checked out randomly by a reliable outside company to ensure that it is running smoothly and that employees are not committing unintentional online crimes. However, even when all that is done, there is no single technology available that thoroughly protects against mistakes and deliberate insider acts, due to the sheer number of employees, executives, clients, customers, IT, business consultants, partners and contractors that may have access to information systems at any given time.
Therefore, should you or your company be involved in an unfortunate security breach that results in an incident of online crime, contact a knowledgeable criminal lawyer with experience in this area as soon as possible. That is the best way to navigate the situation and ensure that damages are minimized.
About the guest author: Legal researcher Shelby Warden contributes this article to help you avoid any involvement in online crime. The Virginia criminal attorney firm of Price Benowitz has successfully represented many clients accused of white collar crimes, including unwitting accomplices. Their team has the experience and knowledge you need to challenge your charges and reach the best possible outcome for your case.
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This post was submitted by Shelby Warden.