Credit crunch chaos puts data at risk

Increased merger and acquisition activity next year due to the credit crunch presents a significant opportunity for hackers, according to new research, but lack of budget is limiting security spending.

A survey of 179 US IT professionals was recently conducted by the Enterprise Research Group (ESG) and released today (Monday 8 December). It suggests 75 per cent of organisations believe hacker attacks on their databases will increase in 2009, with their own employees representing the biggest risk.

“Re-organisation, lay-offs and the enormous data migration processes involved when companies merge mean that a lot of information will be in transit and that’s an opportunity for hackers,” said Thom Bain, director of communications at database security specialist Application Security, which commissioned the survey.

“For any disgruntled employee angry at being laid off and facing a bleak financial future, that temptation is there if they have access to sensitive data and know where to sell it,” he said.

Over a third of those surveyed admitted they had failed a security or compliance audit at least once over the last three years. But 40 per cent cited lack of budget as the major inhibitor to database security spending.

Bain advises that securing the network perimeter, Web applications and core databases simultaneously rather than just one or the other remains the best defence against hacker attack.

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