In the past few years the adoption of new methods to access corporate data has led to traditional endpoint security being less effective.
At the same time, there are concerns about the number of employees who have access to data and how much of a threat they present.
Data security specialist Vormetric has released its latest Insider Threat Report which reveals that 93 per cent of US organisations polled believe that they’re vulnerable to insider threats.
Among other findings are that 59 per cent of respondents in the US believe privileged users pose the biggest threat to their organisation, and preventing a data breach is the highest or second highest priority for IT security spending for 54 per cent.
The cloud comes under scrutiny too with 46 per cent of US respondents believing they present the greatest risk for loss of sensitive data in their organisation.
However, 47 per cent believe databases have the greatest amount of sensitive data at risk.
Businesses are subject to pressure from attacks and security breaches too. 44 per cent say their company has experienced a data breach or failed a compliance audit in the last year and 34 per cent of respondents say their organisations are protecting sensitive data because of a breach at a partner or a competitor.
"As the past year demonstrates, these threats are real and need to be addressed," says Alan Kessler, CEO for Vormetric.
"Organisations wishing to protect themselves must do more than take a data-centric approach; they must take a data-first approach. Although we are heartened that 92 per cent of organisations plan to maintain or increase their security spending in the coming year, our larger concern is about how they plan to spend that money.
"The results indicate there is still disagreement about where corporate data, which is most at risk, actually resides. Our experience, observations and conversations with customers have taught us that even if the situation isn't entirely black and white, organisations’ use of encryption, access controls and data access monitoring greatly reduce their risk and exposure".
The problem isn't limited to the US either, 55 per cent of global respondents believe privileged users are the biggest threat.
Also 54 per cent say they will be increasing spending to offset the threat in the coming year.
The full report is available from the Vormetric website.