On Security

Adversaries Are Eyeing Your IT Staff. Why Aren't You?

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Sep 3, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
If members of the information technology department are recruited or volunteer to be an espionage agent, they can cause serious damage to their company.

Information technology personnel often have access to communications, applications and data storage that contains a company’s most valuable proprietary information and trade secrets.


Since the advent of encrypted electronic communications, those who operate these communication systems at intelligence, military and foreign affairs agencies have naturally been a prime target of espionage operations. These communicators, or who the U.S. State Department calls "information management specialists," often have access to some of the most sought-after information like encryption keys that could be catastrophic in the wrong hands. Despite this, however, they've historically been treated as second-class citizens next to their affluent, Ivy League-educated colleagues who are conducting the actual diplomacy or intelligence operations. But while they may be overlooked by their own organization, they've long been placed in the crosshairs of hostile intelligence services. This dangerous oxymoron -- where some of the most underpaid, overworked employees are the ones with the most power to implode an organization -- continues to play out in today's business world. But instead of information specialists, they're called information technology specialists....

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