Skip to main content

New research shows insider attacks rising

It may be hackers and cyber criminals that are in the front of most people's minds when thinking of security, but a worrying number of attacks come from organisation insiders.

New crowd-based research from user activity monitoring and behaviour analysis specialist Spectorsoft shows that 62 per cent of security professionals saw a rise in insider attacks over the last 12 months, while 22 per cent saw no rise, and 16 per cent were unsure if they had been attacked or not.

A worrying 45 per cent of respondents said they couldn't tell if their organisations had suffered an insider attack in the past year. Of those that had, 22 per cent said they experienced between one and five attacks, and 24 per cent of organisations believe they experienced no attacks at all. Of the respondents who were willing to admit they suffered an insider attack, the average number was 3.8 incidents per organisation per year.

The average cost of fixing a successful insider attack is around $445,000 (£282,000) so with an average of almost four attacks per year the cost for some businesses could run into millions. When asked which types of insider attacks were most concerning, 63 per cent of respondents said data leaks, 57 per cent said inadvertent data breaches and 53 per cent cited malicious data breaches. Yet despite these threats only 21 per cent say they continuously monitor user behaviour taking place on their networks.

"The survey and report called out a rise in insider threats, the difficulty in detecting them, and the significant costs in cleaning up after a successful insider attack," says Mike Tierney, COO of SpectorSoft. "Companies need the ability to detect for anomalies in user behaviour to make sure they are aware of the threats that exist within their organisations, because insiders will deviate from their normal behaviour patterns when planning and executing an attack".

More detailed information on the report is available on the Spectorsoft website.

Image Credit: Andrea Danti/Shutterstock