The Threat From Within: What CIOs Need To Do To Protect The Company From The IT Department


As CIO the rest of the company is relying on you to keep them safe. They expect you to lead the IT team in defending the corporate castle from hackers and attackers. The importance of information technology requires us to spend time doing this – it’s really part of the CIO job. For more information about Hire a Hacker take a look at our page.
However, it turns out that no matter how thick you make the virtual fences that you put around the company’s IT assets, you may be dealing with an even bigger threat from within your own IT department.

Who’s Watching The Store?

A recent survey that was done by PriceWaterhouseCoopers revealed that 56% of the companies that responded to the survey said that they had experienced an economic crime in the past 12 months and the person who did it was an employee. The IT department was identified as being the #1 department that these rogue employees might be working in.

What this means to a CIO is that we need to be very, very careful whom we invite to work in our IT departments. Before we onboard anyone, we have some serious homework to do.

More and more firms are conducting background checks on IT employees that they are considering hiring. The goal of these expensive checks is to assure the rest of the company that the new IT staff can be trusted to be the ones to keep the bad guys out.

CIOs Need A Little Help From Big Brother

This, of course, leads to the next challenge for a CIO – how do you make sure that the IT staff that you have on board right now are still honest? Although when you hired them they were committed to helping the company to succeed, many things may have happened in their lives and some members of your IT staff may now be scheming against you.

Detecting when members of your own IT department have switched teams on you can be very challenging. However, voices from the field indicate that there are ways to do this.

The simplest way to detect IT staff members who may have gone rogue on you is to keep track of when they are accessing the company’s computers. If they work a normal shift and then all of a sudden you see them logging on in the middle of the night with no clear reason as to why they are doing this, something might be up.

Another powerful way to detect when an employee has undergone a behavior change is to monitor how they communicate. Studies have shown that as an employee’s feelings about the company that he or she works for changes, their written communication style will also change.

The types of changes that you need to be looking for include wordy people who suddenly become very brief in their written communication. Additionally, phrases that they use that indicate that they are angry can be another tipoff.

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