A U.S.-based global energy company employee with privileged user access was enticed by a foreign company to steal source code and other intellectual property from his employer. As a result of his theft, the company lost three quarters of its revenue, half of its workforce, and more than $1 billion in market value.
This incident caused such extensive damage one might consider it to be an anomaly, but it is not; it is an all too common example of one of the costliest risks companies face daily, that of privileged user abuse. According to a national fraud survey, $348 billion a year in corporate losses can be tied directly to privileged user fraud.
Chief information officers across the country are keenly aware of the threat not only to their intellectual property, but ultimately to their bottom line. The risk of intellectual property theft isn’t limited to a certain industry, it happens across the board from the financial sector to energy and health care to the federal government. In fact, the federal government is so acutely aware of this risk they recently issued a memo renewing their efforts to thwart privileged user abuse.