When Loyalty Fades: Safeguarding Your Organization Against Employee Betrayal in Cyberspace


Protecting your company against the growing threat of ransomware attacks requires more than defending against external hackers. From seasoned HR leaders to new employees, security awareness training plays a crucial role in fostering a culture of defence. It can safeguard your organization against unprecedented ransomware attacks and the danger posed by malicious employees.

As reported in January 2022 in “Small to medium-sized business owners vulnerable to ransomware,” a survey commissioned by the Insurance Bureau of Canada revealed that nearly 25 percent of Canadian small businesses experienced malware attacks since March 2020. Angry employees often become targets. Additionally, ransomware attacks are predicted to reach unforeseen levels in 2023.

Employee carelessness remains an ongoing problem. Many staff members fail to prioritize password security or recognize phishing warning signs, making them susceptible to clicking on enticing links and attachments. When employees are exposed to malware, they inadvertently bring it into the workplace, even when working remotely.

But what about those employees who turn malicious? Some employees become disgruntled, while others may have fallen victim to hackers. These disgruntled employees may sometimes collude with hackers, participating in hacks for promised rewards. Hackers often target discontented employees with low morale and the desire for revenge.

The presence of cybercriminals seeking out disgruntled employees is not a new phenomenon. These insiders, also known as insider threats or individuals on the verge of termination, may create accounts on the dark web to accept a percentage of the ransom payment. Their motivations can stem from feeling passed over for promotion, cheated out of raises, undervalued by their employer, taken advantage of, envious of colleagues’ promotions, credit theft, or unaddressed grievances.

What is concerning is that even employees with limited digital experience can acquire enough knowledge to become hackers. Those with insider knowledge of company systems, organizational policies, and IT departments pose an even greater risk. An example is Christopher Dobbins from Duluth, Georgia, a former vice president of Stradis, who pleaded guilty in 2021 to sabotaging electronic shipping records, causing significant damage and delays in the shipment of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Cyology, our experts understand that cybersecurity encompasses various threats. We specialize in preventing insider hackers from compromising your networks and systems. Join us on this journey towards enhanced cybersecurity by visiting www.CybersecurityMadeEasy.com.

Terry Cutler

I’m Terry Cutler, the creator of Internet Safety University, an educational system helping to defend corporations and individuals against growing cyber threats. I’m a federal government-cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the founder of Cyology Labs, a first-line security defence firm headquartered in Montréal, Canada. In 2020, I wrote a bestselling book about the secrets of internet safety from the viewpoint of an ethical hacker. I’m a frequent contributor to National & Global media coverage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and social network dangers families and individuals face daily.