IT security risks increase with redundancies

A poll by the ICAEW’s IT Faculty found that around half of its members
believed redundancies and cost reductions increased operational risk and
impacted the effectiveness of day-to-day operations.

The survey questioned chief financial officers, finance directors and head of
operational risk for a roundtable on risk for the Faculty. The results show
respondents thought the recession increased external and internal IT security
breaches, namely from disgruntled employees.

Two thirds of respondents found they faced greater operational risk now than
this time last year and 39% believe internal security breaches, including
employee theft of information, are a major concern.

Roland Brook, associate director Smith & Williamson, who attended the
event said: ‘Resilience has become much more of a major focus for our clients
over the past year as many have had to contend with new threats such as internal
sabotage from disgruntled employees and external security breaches which have
dramatically increased in the recession.

Other findings include 70% of those polled found they are more at risk from
damaging supply chain issues, such as business partners going out of business,
compared to a year ago and a third said risk and resilience are now discussed at
board level.

John Oates, of Baker Tilly and chairman of the ICAEW IT Faculty, said: ‘In
the last 12 months we have seen operational risk rise up the business agenda as
organisations identify new threats to their business, not least that caused by
growing numbers of redundancies, both in terms of loss of knowledge and
malicious attempts by departing employees to exact revenge on their employers.’

‘More than ever, organisations need to create contingency plans that are
water-tight and workable, but also flexible enough to cope with the new and
unexpected threats thrown up by the current economy.’ He added.

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