“Great resignation” sparks concern over insider data leaks

New research unearths direct correlation between employees leaving and data theft

Man leaving a job with box of personal items

According to new research, there is a direct correlation between resignations, departing employees, and data exposure through theft and leaks.

Mark Wojtasiak, vice president of Portfolio Marketing at cyber security company Code42, said that in an analysis of data-exposure telemetry from devices using the company’s software, data was leaving organizations at the same time as employees were handling in letters of resignation.

“Our analysis shows a direct correlation between resignations, departing employees, and exposure events. Turns out, when people leave, so do source code, patent applications, and customer lists,” he said.

The company looked at data from over 700,000 endpoints running Code42’s Incydr software between January 1 and June 30, 2021. The research found that not only was there an 40% increase in data exposure events between H2 2020 and H1 2021, but there was also a 61% increase quarter-over-quarter within the first half of 2021.

The three-month period between April and June 2021 saw 61% more exposure events than the previous quarter and accounts for 86% of all exposure events (across all vectors) experienced by organizations throughout the previous half (July through December 2020). Data exposure peaked at the same time the US experienced a massive shift in employment.

The research also found that source code exposure has increased three times over the past year. During Q2 2021, source code accounted for 11% of all data exposure events. Plus, Q2 2021 accounted for 47% of all source code exposed within the past year, confirming the ties between massive job shifts and valuable, sensitive information exposure.

Related Resource

Employees behaving badly?

Why awareness training matters

Why awareness training matters - whitepaper from MimecastDownload now

Removable media, primarily UBSs, represented the most widely used exposure vector. Removable media accounted for 42% of all exposure events, making it the top single exfiltration vector. The second-highest single exfiltration vectors were cloud sync agents at 37%.

The data also revealed that Google Chrome accounted for 52% of all application exposure not tied to a cloud sync agent or removable media. Wojtasiak said that rather than indicating that Google Chrome is particularly problematic — it instead denotes its dominant market share within professional environments.

“Our analysis illustrates that many of these employees will likely take data with them to their next company,” said Wojtasiak. “When data falls into the wrong hands, it’s devastating to a company’s competitive position and jeopardizes the financial, reputational, or operational well-being of a company, its employees, customers, and partners.”

Featured Resources

The definitive guide to warehouse efficiency

Get your free guide to creating efficiencies in the warehouse

Free download

The total economic impact™ of Datto

Cost savings and business benefits of using Datto Integrated Solutions

Download now

Three-step guide to modern customer experience

Support the critical role CX plays in your business

Free download

Ransomware report

The global state of the channel

Download now

Recommended

Wipro launches its cyber security studio in Texas
digital transformation

Wipro launches its cyber security studio in Texas

20 Aug 2021
What is customer identity and access management? 
identity and access management (IAM)

What is customer identity and access management? 

19 Aug 2021
Indiana notifies 750,000 after COVID-19 tracing data accessed
data breaches

Indiana notifies 750,000 after COVID-19 tracing data accessed

18 Aug 2021
Pearson fined $1 million for downplaying severity of 2018 breach
data breaches

Pearson fined $1 million for downplaying severity of 2018 breach

17 Aug 2021

Most Popular

What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021
Google takes down map showing homes of 111,000 Guntrader customers
data breaches

Google takes down map showing homes of 111,000 Guntrader customers

2 Sep 2021
Intuit plans end-to-end SMB platform after $12 billion Mailchimp acquisition
mergers and acquisitions

Intuit plans end-to-end SMB platform after $12 billion Mailchimp acquisition

14 Sep 2021