The survey, which canvassed nearly 1,900 senior executives in more than 60 countries, showed that 75% of respondents said they are concerned with the possible reprisal from employees who have left their organisations. Furthermore 42% of respondents are already trying to understand the potential risks related to this issue and 26% are already taking steps to mitigate them.
Paul van Kessel, Global Leader of Ernst & Young’s Technology and Security Risk Services, comments: “With the economy still in recession, employees that are made redundant may feel resentful towards their previous employer in a number of ways that may affect the smooth operation of an organisation. Increasingly, the employer’s IT system has become a common target and data theft is also prevalent. It is paramount that companies undertake a specific risk assessment exercise to identify their potential exposure and put in place appropriate risk-based responses.”
Yvette du Toit, senior manager Risk Advisory Services at Ernst & Young South Africa, points out that while this country was spared the worst effects of the global recession, there is no doubt that the slowdown has cost jobs. “The premise of the likelihood of disgruntled ex-employees therefore holds; it is a risk which applies to companies in this country as much as it does to international organisations,” she says.
- Global information security survey 2008 - Ernst & Young's