Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Preventing leaks, Wiki- and otherwise

There's been no shortage of attention these past few weeks on the details and fallout from the latest Wikileaks postings.

While the nature of the content being shared is certainly worthy of attention, the sad truth is that information obtained by insiders and shared illegally is all too common.

A perfect case in point comes courtesy of an article in Darkreading (Cybercriminals, Insiders May Work Together To Attack Businesses) : "For 19 months, an employee at Johns Hopkins Hospital allegedly stole patients' identities, feeding the information to four outsiders who used the data to charge more than $600,000 in goods on store credit. Jasmine Amber Smith, 25, has been charged with using her inside access to fuel the identity theft ring."

In pointing out the dangers that can come from both inside and outside the company, the article cites Verizon Business' 2010 Data Breach Investigations Report, which Verizon produced in conjunction with the US Secret Service.  The report is full of data and details on the extent of data breaches (there are some serious dollar figures involved) and the ways in which they were perpetrated.  

In the Darkreading article, IBM's Phil Neray, vice president of security strategy for Guardium, provided some high-level advice:
"The only way to handle that is to rely on other forms of security than just identity and access management," Neray says. "The bad guys may have someone on the inside -- or a copy of the login credentials for your most sensitive systems -- so you have to start using anomaly detection, not just at the network level, but at the user-activity level."

IBM provides a variety of software and solutions to help in this regard.