The Threat From Within

One of the biggest data security threats you face comes from inside…

An article review.

We spend a lot of time thinking about the threats to our network posed by hackers: from ransomware and phishing scams to data breaches, we often view the culprit as being some unknown person or organization… someone possibly not even in the same country.

The unfortunate truth is that, according to several recent reports, the biggest risks to network and data security come from your own employees.  Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report, for example, says that over a third of data breaches in that year involved employees.  A similar annual report from Code42 says that when asked anonymously, over half of the IT workers polled said that data breaches in their organization had been caused by their own employees.  A third report funded by Observe IT and Proofpoint says the number of insider cybersecurity incidents increased by nearly half over 2018, and cost businesses roughly $11 million in damages.

One reason you might not have heard as much about insider threats is because we want to trust our employees.  An atmosphere of mistrust can actually contribute to insider threats, as employees already feel they’re being treated as a threat to the company.  Another problem is that some employee incidents are simple mistakes that lead to a breach, and are not malicious in intent…and that means combating insider threats involves both awareness training and security controls.

If you’d like to know what the FFIEC has to say on the subject of internal threats, we have a guidance summary available for download here.


Original article composed with data from reports by Verizon, Code42 and Observe IT.



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