Cybercrime incidents caused by external factors dominate news headlines. But the findings of the new Insider Threat Report are further evidence that security breaches directly or indirectly caused by insiders are more common and more damaging. And yet companies are still unprepared for such inevitabilities.
The Insider Threat Report is based on a comprehensive survey conducted with the 260,000+ member Information Security Community on LinkedIn and supported by leading security vendors: Bitglass, Dell Software, Fasoo, Heat Software, LightCyber, ObserveIT, Palerra, RES Software, Sergeant Laboratories, SpectorSoft, Vectra Networks and Watchful Software.
Here are the 4 key findings:
- Privilege doesn’t guarantee protection
The biggest misconception in compliance and security is the idea that those at the bottom of the company ladder are the greatest security threat. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The recent Insider Threat Report reinforces the growing realisation that “Privileged users”, such as managers, directors, and board level staff - all of whom have access to sensitive information - pose the biggest insider threat to organizations at 59%. Regular employees are ranked at only 46%. Cyber criminals are now “going corporate” with attacks now focusing on middle managers and board level executives. There is no room for anyone to be complacent in any company with relation to compliance.
- Insider Attacks are growing.
62% of security professionals say that data breaches caused by insider error have become more frequent in the last 12 months. And yet fewer than 50% of organizations have appropriate controls to prevent such insider attacks. The no.1 cause of insider breaches is human error. The everyday demands on employees are increasing and yet companies are failing to respond by nurturing a compliance culture that supports their staff. While certain mistakes that we all can make are excusable, it is inexcusable to refuse to take the now necessary measures to ensure that staff have all the knowledge and technology available to become compliance aware. Educated employees led by engaged leaders who set the example of the need to incorporate compliance procedures into everyday working practices is the only way to combat the rise of insider threats.
- Investment is needed
It is easy to say that a company needs a new insider program to tackle the rise of insider attacks but investment is needed. Worryingly, the Insider Threat Report found that only 34% expect additional budget to address the problem. Security may seem like an avoidable extra cost in austere times, but recent reports have shown that the reality of failing to invest has led to the cost of $2.9 trillion in employee fraud globally per year, with $40 billion in losses due to employee theft and fraud in the US in 2012 alone. The statistics speak for themselves.
- Ignorance is bliss until it’s you and your customers affected
A frightening statistic is that 64% of respondents find it difficult to estimate the damage of a successful insider attack. But quantifying the true cost of a data breach is essential in understanding the true impact. Verizon security analysts, in their 2015 Data Breach Investigation Report , used a new assessment model for gauging the financial impact of a security breach, based on the analysis of nearly 200 cyber-liability insurance claims. What they found was that a company’s size does not have the singular effect on the cost of a breach that we might expect; rather it is the type of data that directly affects the financial impact as well as the investment in data security software in the first place.
All data is sensitive and highly valuable and having a proper Compliance Management System in place to ensure user awareness might seem like a luxury but it is guaranteed to not only save money but also protect you, your customers, and your staff against the inevitable insider attack.