Access and Feeds

Security: Reshuffling of Workers during “Great Resignation” Exacerbates Data Leaks

By Dick Weisinger

Data theft and leaks have spiked as post-pandemic many employees are switching employers and moving onto different jobs. A 40 percent jump of data exposure events occurred between H2 2020 and H1 2021, according to cyber security company Code42.

Mark Wojtasiak, vice president at Code42, said that there is “a direct correlation between resignations, departing employees, and exposure events. Turns out, when people leave, so do source code, patent applications, and customer lists. Our analysis illustrates that many of these employees will likely take data with them to their next company. When data falls into the wrong hands, it’s devastating to a company’s competitive position and jeopardizes the financial, reputational, or operational well-being of a company, its employees, customers, and partners.”

Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research, said that “the motivations for taking the data are all over the map. Sometimes it’s employees who are leaving for a competitor and want some competitive edge with contacts or IP. Some are upset and have a beef with management and want to do a slash and burn on the way out.”

Joe Payne, CEO of Code42, said that it has never been easier for departing employees to makes copies of data before leaving a company. “Data is digital and portable, so I can sit at home, open a browser, and send myself the crown jewels to my personal Google Drive account. Nearly all security leaders we recently surveyed believe that users are exfiltrating data through personal cloud accounts, yet nearly half don’t have a tool to differentiate personal and corporate cloud application uploads.”

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