Gartner’s security expert Avivah Litan recently told Forbes magazine that this is the busiest her practice has ever been, with many financial clients reporting noticeable spikes in fraud and fraud attempts. This time around the scapegoats aren’t Russian or Eastern European cyber criminals though; Litan and other industry analyst say the massive layoffs in financial services and other industries has lead unemployed IT workers to trade their access to corporate networks, or stolen corporate assets, into cash.

But unlike the real-world’s tanking economy, which is now seriously worried about deflation, MessageLab’s researchers told Forbes that the price of stolen identities in the black market has increased from $5 to $15 each, driven by supply and demand.

If there’s a bright side in this it’s that though IT budgets overall are flat, or declining, spending on security and compliance efforts isn’t in the “discretionary” category that’s getting the ax at most banks.

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