In running a business you are probably well aware that there are many potential threats to your network, be that from hackers, malware or even from state security services.

But one other vector of attack is much closer to home; your employees.

There are many reasons why those who do, or used to, work for you may set out to damage your systems. Some people see computer sabotage as a means of gaining revenge over an employer they feel sacked them unfairly. Others engage in such activity for financial gain, stealing customer data before setting up their own business in direct competition. And some people are just plain disturbed.

Whatever the motives for attacking your network may be, the damage can be huge, as seen by the recent case of Jonathan Hartwell Wolberg.

The 31-year-old man from Arizona has admitted hacking into his ex-employer’s systems in order to damage their servers, business and reputation.

Wolberg worked as a systems administrator for an unnamed cloud services provider in the Eastern District of Virginia until he quit his job. Following his resignation, however, he continued to access the firm’s systems without its authorisation.

Now, according to an indictment, he has pleaded guilty to intentionally causing damage to a protected computer.

According to authorities he continued to access his former employer’s systems between March 16 and August 1, 2012 during which time he shut down a key data server which impacted customers, including hospitals that were responsible for surgery. As a result of his actions Wolberg is said to have caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage. He also encouraged the company’s existing customers to take their business elsewhere.

Wolberg was initially indicted on August 22, 2013 by a federal grand jury on charges related to computer hacking.  As a result of his actions he now faces a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment when he is sentenced on April 11, 2014.

Whatever sentence he finally receives may pale into insignificance as far as his ex-employer is concerned though as the business will surely have some work to do in repairing the significant damage he has done to its reputation.

With the above in mind, what have you done to secure your business from the humans within it?

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