Posted on by Insider Threatin
Physical access to an organization's secure areas, equipment, or materials containing sensitive data may make it easier for a malicious insider to commit a crime. Therefore, an organization's physical security controls are often just as important as its technical security controls. This entry reviews some real case examples of physical security issues as well as some physical security controls.
In our case repository of incidents of malicious insider activity, including crimes of IT sabotage, theft of intellectual property, and fraud, about 8% involve physical security issues of concern. The case summaries below outline a few of these cases that we've analyzed.
We have also observed the following physical security issues in the case data:
Stronger physical security controls, such as physical security training or better background checks, might have prevented some of these attacks. Physical security controls include preventing unauthorized physical access to secure areas as well as preventing outright physical theft. Insider threats to physical security can come from current or former employees, contractors, and trusted business partners, including custodial staff and security guards. Individuals with broad access need to be thoroughly vetted. For example, custodial staff and security guards should undergo the same background check as other insiders. Employees with such access should also have routine security awareness training because their positions make them prime targets for social engineering attacks.