Biggest insider threat? Sys admin gone rogue

Biggest insider threat? Sys admin gone rogue
Biggest insider threat? Sys admin gone rogue 

By Ellen Messmer
Network World
September 27, 2010

What's one of the biggest insider threats to the corporate network? The 
high-tech folks that put it together, make changes to it, and know more 
about what's on it and how it works than anybody else.

When the database, network or systems administrator goes rogue -- 
stealing data, setting up secret access for themselves, even in anger 
planting logic bombs to destroy data , or just peeking at sensitive 
information they know is off limits -- they become the very insider 
threat that the IT department is supposed to be guarding against. 

Indeed, IT workers with privileged access to the network are often 
considered a greater risk and potential danger than other types of 

"They're different because there's a high risk associated with the 
potential damage they can do," says Donna Durkin, chief information 
security and privacy officer for Computershare, a global financial 
services company. 

Mike Theis, executive director of insider threat technology for 
Raytheon, agrees that sys admins and others with privileged-user access 
are a bigger potential threat than other types of organizational 
employees. He says his decades-long experience as an investigator in the 
federal government and commercial sector has shown him that half of 
detected anomalies -- lapses in accepted protocol -- come from such 


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