Insider Threats to Business Continuity
March 1, 2017 - Most organizations today have programs in place to guard against external threats. But insider threats, whether malicious or unintentional, are not always easy to identify and may be more difficult to protect against. Large and small companies are at risk, and there are things both can do to help prevent security breaches by insiders. This week's articles can help.
When it comes to cybercrime, incidents caused by external actors dominate news headlines. But senior executives know that security breaches by insiders---employees and business partners with trusted access---can be even more damaging. Yet the majority of businesses are unprepared for these insider threats.
Many companies still lack the means or motivation to protect themselves from malicious insiders; but the effects of insider threats are simply too big to ignore. According to a report by the market research company Forrester, 46 percent of nearly 200 technology decision-makers reported internal incidents as the most common cause of the breaches they experienced in the past year. Out of those respondents, almost half said the breach stemmed from a malicious insider.
As we look at the global workforce and the myriad ways in which we engage with our colleagues both near and far, the insider threat is a very real phenomenon that's worthy of attention regardless of your organization's size. Multinational corporations with thousands of employees will be clearing more and higher hurdles than the small or medium businesses with their workforce under one roof.
"Insider threat" has become a bit of a buzzword in cybersecurity circles. The general notion is that people in positions of trust within an organization---and more importantly, on its network---have the ability to cause considerable damage should they one day "go rogue." But insiders can pose a threat to more than just an organization's data. Companies would do well do consider the full range of risks.
A recent study of IT security professionals reveals 49 percent of them are more concerned about internal threats than external threats. Malware installed by careless employees (73 percent) and stolen or compromised credentials (66 percent) are their top concerns. What's more, 87 percent say they are concerned about naive employees who bend the rules to get their jobs done, while putting company security at risk.
As if small businesses don't have enough to worry about when it comes to keeping their data safe from hackers, now they have to guard against internal threats to their networks as well. Insider threats can vary, from individuals who take deliberate, malicious actions against a network to those who do things accidentally that put an organization and its data at risk.
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