An accounting of the insiders

No matter your view of Julian Assange, his WikiLeaks controversy is the story that just keeps on giving, says Illena Armstrong, editor-in-chief, SC Magazine.

No matter your view of Julian Assange – First Amendment hero or unapologetic traitor – his WikiLeaks controversy is the story that just keeps on giving.

As U.S. government officials in late January looked to close out their assessments of how they handle classified data, which likely will result in the strengthening of existing but questionable security practices, still more fallout is coming. This time, the targets play in the private sector though.

The British magazine New Statesman reports in a recent Assange interview that the WikiLeaks founder has additional classified files from both the government and some media outlets that will be made public if something happens to him or WikiLeaks. Meantime, he says data files from another private entity, likely Bank of America, are next in line to be revealed on the WikiLeaks site [data from Swiss bank Julius Baer was reportedly given to WikiLeaks on Jan. 17]. So now the plot thickens, bringing into the mix corporations, their electronic communications and subpar information security practices.

Insider risks have been ever-present, but attention only seems to be given to them during economic downturns when layoffs result in intellectual property thefts or lingering disgruntled employees expose customer information. However, the importance of having both robust end-user security policies in place, which are then enforced and supported by strong technologies within the corporate infrastructure, can neither be overstated nor ignored. Check out this month's cover story by our Executive Editor Dan Kaplan to get the latest information on what works best in dealing with both malicious insiders and error-prone employees.

Moving on from the potential problems wrought by some internal staff, I wanted to call out the tremendously positive contributions the strongest among them can make – especially those of one respected industry player we lost too soon. Justin Peltier was a longtime contributor to SC Magazine, testing countless products in our

SC Lab. After starting his information security career at a large consultancy, he began teaching various classes, including popular courses on pen testing, for CSI and institutions like Norwich University. His work with our publication was stellar and “his knowledge of various product types and individual products was encyclopedic,” says our Technology Editor Peter Stephenson.

We here at SC Magazine were privileged to know Justin. His wit, intelligence, humor and the vast technological experience he openly shared with the entire IT security community will be sorely missed.  

Illena Armstrong is editor-in-chief of SC Magazine.

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