Although the technology-driven era we live in has made information sharing and data access very efficient, it has also brought forth a new set of challenges. One of the major challenges businesses face in this day and age is the rising threat to data security. However, the threat to business data does not always come from external actors. According to a study by CybSafe, human error, whether intentional or unintentional, was the main reason behind 90 percent of data breaches in 2019. To make matters worse, insider-related cybersecurity incidents have increased 47 percent in the last two years.

Therefore, it’s safe to say that the biggest threat to business-critical data comes from human elements inside an organization. Since data is the lifeline of most businesses in this digital environment, any compromise can jeopardize operations and bring businesses to a complete halt. To avoid this, businesses need to be aware of the threats posed by insiders and incorporate the necessary measures to prevent them.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the risks the human factor poses to cybersecurity and how you can overcome them.

Actors and Motivations Behind Insider Threats

There are two main types of actors behind all insider threat incidents – negligent insiders who unwittingly act as pawns to external threats and malicious insiders who become turncloaks for financial gain or revenge.

Negligent Insiders – These are your regular employees who simply do their jobs but occasionally fall victim to a scam orchestrated by a cybercriminal. These actors do not have any bad intentions against your company. However, these actors are also the most dangerous since they account for about 62 percent of all insider threat incidents.

Negligent insiders contribute to data security breaches by:

Malicious Insiders – These are disgruntled employees who wreak havoc on your data security for financial gain or revenge. While financial gain is the top reason behind most malicious insider actions, it isn’t always the case. Despite being rare in occurrence, these threats often have much more severe consequences since the actors have full access and credentials to compromise your security. For instance, a Chinese national allegedly stole trade secrets from a US-based petroleum firm, with the value of these secrets estimated to be about $1 billion. Losses of this magnitude are usually quite severe for any organization, irrespective of their size.

Best Ways to Prevent Insider Threats and Protect Data

When a business falls victim to a data security breach, it faces more than just financial repercussions. The organization’s reputation, competitive advantage, intellectual property, etc., often come under fire following an insider threat incident. Additionally, there are compliance regulations that impose hefty fines on businesses for allowing such a breach to occur. It is estimated that 60 percent of companies go out of business within six months of a major data breach incident. That’s why you must take a proactive approach when it comes to combating insider threats.

Detecting Insider Threats

There are certain factors that can help you identify insider threats before you experience a full-blown breach:

Defense Strategies Against Insider Threats

There are a few strategies that you can implement throughout your organization to minimize the possibility of insider threats.

Reach Out to Us to Protect Your Critical Data

The average cost of insider threats increased by 31 percent between 2017 and 2019 and is estimated to be around $11.45 million. With the cost of insider threats expected to rise over the years, having a trusted partner by your side to protect your data from all kinds of human threats can go a long way towards securing your business.

With our years of expertise in data security and storage, we can help you incorporate innovative strategies to protect your data. Give us a call now!

Article curated and used by permission.

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