People who’ve moved onward and upward within the company, bridging multiple departments are great attack targets because they probably have more permissions than someone who’s stayed in a single role.
In non-security speak, let’s talk about someone who moves from Accounting to HR. The right way to handle it is to grant access to all of the HR data and systems, and cut off all of the person’s access to accounting data and systems.
In practice, that rarely happens. In previous roles, I’ve often ended up with access to more than one group of systems after being moved around, so I’ve not only seen it, I’ve experienced it firsthand.
The bad guys know this. So they’re going to scour Linkedin for people who have multiple entries on their profiles for the same company, knowing they probably still have both feet in both worlds. People like that are going to get more phishing e-mails than average, because then they’ll have access to twice as much stuff. That means if an attacker manages to get onto their system, they’ll have access to twice as much stuff.
This gets overlooked a lot, but HR and security need to have a very good working relationship to keep these kinds of situations from happening. Employees who stay with an organization and move onward and upward within it are very rare these days, and those employees deserve every bit of the extra protection they need.
Career advisers say to make sure you show all of your upward movement within the same company on your resume and on your Linkedin profile. I know not everyone does this, but jobs are difficult enough to get that we have to assume people are looking for that edge. As security professionals, our job is to understand this reality and make sure it doesn’t mean extra exposure.