Study: Plenty of IT pros are secret hackers

It’s not quite as serious as most insider threats, but a recent survey finds that many IT pros never lost a penchant for hacking. 

Nearly half (41%) of IT pros aged 18-44 have hacked their own organization, according to Canadian firm Absolute. Those 45 years and older weren’t quite as devious − only 12% admitted to tinkering when they shouldn’t.

That may be an insider threat you weren’t expecting. But it’s far from the only threat coming from inside the organization.

The survey also found that younger IT pros think 33% of security protocols aren’t being followed in the organizaiton. That could explain why so many distrust their own employees more than other potential attackers.

In fact, nearly half (46%) said insiders are the biggest security risk to the organization. That was followed by:

  • hackers (38%)
  • competitors (11%), and
  • partners (5%).

Keep an eye on the inside

There’s a lot of trust that goes along with employment.

When an employee is brought into the fold, they’re essentially given access to information that hackers would go to great lengths to get. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that IT pros are skeptical of their own people.

This is a good reminder that part of any security plan is looking for internal threats as well as external. Monitoring employees − within reason − for suspicious activity is a solid way to make sure you stay safe.

And don’t forget about IT staff, either. Although any user has access to valuable data that could harm the organization, this is especially true of the tech experts in your department.

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