Most cyber-terror attacks within the next two years will be financially or politically motivated, industry analysts have predicted.
By 2005, 60 per cent of security breach costs incurred by businesses will be caused by insiders working alone or in conspiracy with outsiders - either for profit or ideology - according to market research firm Gartner.
"Security managers and chief information officers are well aware of the threat posed by insiders, but often find it easier technically and politically to take action against external threats instead," said Victor S. Wheatman, managing vice president for Gartner.
"Businesses must take steps to secure themselves against criminally intent insiders, or resign themselves to suffering significant losses from insider crimes."
Key modern business practices, such as collaboration and knowledge management, demand intensive information sharing. This open access often results in unauthorised use of computers and networks.
"There is a delicate balance between limiting insider access to information and crippling the ability to create revenue," said Richard Hunter, vice president for Gartner.
"Generally, this conflict between security and commerce is resolved in favour of creating revenue and therefore facilitating insider crime."
Gartner advises that, among other actions, businesses must create and enforce legal agreements defining legitimate use of proprietary intellectual property by trading partners and employees.
"Most businesses don't have procedures for establishing and enforcing agreements on shared use of intellectual property," said Wheatman. "Without such legal agreements, misuse is more likely and less subject to recovery."
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