Insiders as dangerous as hackers, new report shows

IT pros worry about their employees messing things up, as much as they worry about hackers.

Employees are now considered an equally dangerous cyber-security threat as hackers, a new report by Preempt has shown. In its “The Growing Security Threat from Insiders” report, it says that 49 per cent of IT security professionals surveyed claim they worry more about employees than hackers. This does not necessarily mean IT pros fear employees will do harm intentionally, even though the idea is not excluded. 

The bigger issue, however, is the things employees do unintentionally, out of the lack of general knowledge on cyber-security. 

“Internal threats are emerging as equally as important as external threats, according to respondents. This means that an employee cutting corners to get their job done more efficiently is viewed as potentially just as dangerous as a malicious external hacker,” said Diane Hagglund, founder and principal of Dimensional Research. 

“Yet these views aren’t reflected in the allocation of security budgets, which is traditionally focused on perimeter security.” The best solution, obviously, would be to better train staff and educate them on the dangers of the online world. That is where another problem lies –even though 95 per cent of IT pros said their company provides training, just 10 per cent believe it’s effective. 

“Intentional or not, insider threats are real,” says Ajit Sancheti, co-founder and CEO of Preempt. 

“From Snowden to the FDIC, headlines continue to emerge and we need to take a new approach to get ahead of insider threats. Without real-time prevention solutions and improved employee engagement, these threats will not only increase, but find more sophisticated ways to infiltrate and navigate a network. The future of security practices relies on the ability to not only understand users and anticipate attacks, but also how to mitigate threats as quickly as possible.”  

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