Insider threats pose greatest risk to businesses

Insider threats pose greatest risk to businesses

Ignorant and disgruntled employees pose a bigger threat to businesses than external hackers, it has been revealed.

According to the annual Clearswift Insider Threat Index (CITI), 40 per cent of businesses expect a data breach in the next 12 months as a result of employee behaviour.

This is mainly due to a lack of awareness and a lack of good cybersecurity practices.

Indeed, the report found that the vast majority (78 per cent) of breaches happened from within the extended enterprise (including contractors and ex-employees).

Commenting on the findings, Heath Davies, chief executive at Clearswift said in a statement that having a robust policy in place to prevent these types of problems from occurring.

Mr Davies said: “Companies with good, existing data protection habits and a well thought through data security policy are in better shape to survive a breach, whether internal or external.

“The insider threat represents a ticking time-bomb for businesses and one, it seems, that they are unprepared for.”

While many threats are intentional, sometimes it is just plain ignorance that can pose the greatest danger to employees.

Other findings published within the report showed that 62 per cent of security incidents which arose within the extended enterprise originated from either inadvertent or accidental behaviour.

In comparison, just 38 per cent of security breaches came from cyber criminals or intentional attacks.

However, whatever the reason behind an attack, the data highlights a worrying rise in the number of cyber security incidents.

According to the report, 92 per cent of firms have experienced an IT or data security incident in the last 12 months.

Furthermore, 72 per cent are more concerned about internal security threats than 12 months ago, while 76 per cent believe internal security threats are still not treated with the same level of importance as external threats by the board.

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