Michael D. Moberly October 8, 2012
Anecdotal accountings and a multitude of studies identify gradations, motives, tenacity, and intensity of the threats-risks posed by ‘insiders’. Insiders engage in a range of adverse acts which include theft, misappropriation, and/or leakage of information (intangible) assets that compromise the value, revenue, competitive advantages, and ownership of proprietary information, know how (intellectual capital), trade secrets and other intellectual properties.
Unfortunately, challenges remain insofar as obtaining objective and replicable evidence, beyond anecdotal reports, to describe the full adverse economic-competitive advantage impact of materialized insider risk events, other than to broadly characterize them as being substantial and probably growing. When insiders are successful in perpetrating asset-data breaches and/or thefts, public reporting is now often mandated by statute which in turn often produces costly and often irreversible consequences affecting, among other things, a company’s reputation.
Through my lens, companies are now obliged, more than ever before, to…
- re-think their information asset protection policies to thwart risks/threats from insiders, which all-too-frequently, begin and end during employee on-boarding processes.
- recognize that periodic (in-employment) re-assessment is necessary and include the means to identify and assess post-hire…
….to engage in adverse acts and/or policy violations that will compromise a company’s valuable and revenue producing information (intangible) assets.
The necessity for companies to comprehensively address risks – threats posed by insiders is elevated in large part because of the economic fact – business reality that 65+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and ‘building blocks’ for growth and sustainability lie in – directly evolve from intangible assets, many of which are rooted in – emanate from, as previously noted, from intellectual properties, proprietary information, and other forms of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital.
So, as company’s value, sources of revenue, and ‘building blocks’ for growth, sustainability, market position, future wealth creation, and competitive advantage are increasingly and inextricably linked to information-based intangible assets, the will and resources necessary to effectively mitigate insider risks-threats should become a routinely visited fixture not just on every CSO’s dashboard, but, every company’s c-suite agenda!
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