The rule break

Meet Sam

Sam

Sam feels undervalued. He’s recently been working late and at weekends, but his payrise request was denied.

When a competitor offers to pay Sam in exchange for some corporate files, Sam jumps at the chance.

SUNDAY 20:42

Competitor emails Sam

TUESDAY 18:57

Sam sends files to personal email address

WEDNESDAY 21:13

Competitor offers Sam a job in exchange for more files

FRIDAY 11:02

Sam sends the files and quits his job

The impact

  • Loss of IP to competitor
  • 10% market share decrease
  • 1,000 hours remediation

Sam’s actions are uncovered after he’s left. The IT team can only track the data as far as Sam’s personal email address, but immediately alarm bells start ringing given its sensitivity. The Legal team notifies local law enforcement, and an investigation is launched. But the damage has been done: the files have been shared throughout the competitor’s organization and the corporate secrets have been spilled.

Why do people break the rules?

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Lisa Forte, Red Goat Cyber Security LLP