Security 500 conference     

 Don’t miss the networking event of the year for security executives!
Register today for the Security 500 Conference.

Security Newswire

Insider Threat Survey Reveals Increased Awareness and Little Action

May 20, 2014
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Despite heightened awareness of insider threats, most organizations continue to grapple with how to mitigate risks to their networks and sensitive information.

According to a report by Raytheon Company, people with access to privileged data – such as health care records, sensitive company information, intellectual property or personal records – frequently put their organization’s sensitive information at risk.

Focusing on ‘the human factor,’ the survey report, “Privileged User Abuse & The Insider Threat”, finds that many individuals with the highest levels of network access in organizations are often granted access to data and areas of the network not necessary for their roles and responsibilities. The report reveals that 65% of survey respondents indicated that curiosity – not job necessity – drives these same individuals to access sensitive or confidential data.

“The results of this survey should serve as a wakeup call to every executive with responsibility for protecting company or customer sensitive data,” said Jack Harrington, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions, Raytheon Intelligence Information and Services.  “While the problem is acutely understood, the solutions are not.”

Conducted by Ponemon, the survey identified 693 respondents as “privileged users” meaning they are network engineers, database administrators, information-security practitioners and cloud custodians.

Key findings include:

  • Eighty-eight percent, recognize insider threats asa cause for alarm but have difficulty identifying specific threatening actions by insiders.
  • Sixty-nine percent surveyed stated their security tools don’t provide enough contextual information to determine intent behind reported incidents and 59 percent stated their tools yield too many false positives.
  • Forty-seven percent surveyed said it would be likely that malicious insiders would use social engineering or other measures to obtain someone’s access rights – this is up from 21 percent from a 2011 survey.
  • Forty-five percent say it is likely social engineers from outside the organization will target privileged users to obtain their access rights.

“Our goal is to also help organizations understand that good people canmake mistakes and put sensitive data at risk,” Harrington continued. “Even a well-intentioned, seasoned, privileged user with wide access to a network poses greatrisksbecause they are high-value targets to corporate “hacktivists” and persistent adversaries eager to penetrate a company’s defenses.”

What is most at risk:

  • While 59 percent believe general business information is at risk, 49 percent say customer information is most at risk due to a lack of access controls over privileged users.
  • Fifty-seven percent believe background checks are lacking in most organizations before issuance of privileged credentials.
  • Budget – while 88 percent of those surveyed recognize enhanced security as a top priority, less than half this number (40 percent) have a dedicated budget toinvest in enabling technologies to reduce insider threat. Most use existing cybersecurity tools not necessarily designed to combat insider threat; 72 percent stated they use authentication and identity management tools to manage privileged user abuse.
  •  

“The goal of this survey is to not only share current insider threat statistics but to educate organizations on their privileged users and the threats and attacks that can happen because of the access they own,” said Harrington. “If a privileged user wants to do bad things, their elevated access to the company network makes it easier for them.”

For a full copy of the study,go to  Privileged User Abuse & The Insider Threat

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Security Magazine. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASIS 2013 Product Preview

ASIS International 59th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 24-27 in Chicago, Illinois, will include an exhibit hall packed with innovative security solutions. Here are some of the products that will be shown at ASIS this year.

Podcasts

Virtualization and Data Center Security: What You Need to Know for 2014

Data centers are increasingly becoming the center of the enterprise, and data center and cyber security is following the same path for security departments. According to Justin Flynn, a consultant at the Burwood Group, the virtualization of data centers allows enterprises to scale more easily and faster, with a smaller footprint.

However, hosting enterprise data in the cloud can make intrusion detection more difficult – how can enterprise security leaders team up with other departments to keep aware of cyber risks and traffic, and physical and data compliance during the virtual transition? How can CISOs and CSOs discuss cyber threats with the C-Suite to get the resources they need? And how can the proper infrastructure test and verify possible malicious attacks? 

More Podcasts

Security Magazine

Security Magazine 2014 September cover

2014 October

Security takes a look at safety and preparedness for the harshest of weather phenomena in this October 2014 edition of the magazine. Also, we investigate supply chain security and the many benefits of PSIM. 

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Travel & the Ebola Risk

Are you and your enterprise restricting travel due to Ebola risks?
View Results Poll Archive

THE SECURITY STORE

comptiahighriseproductphoto
CompTIA Security+ Certification Study Guide
CompTIA's Security+ certification is a globally-recognized, vendor neutral exam that has helped over 60,000 IT professionals reach further and higher in their careers. The current Security+ exam (SY0-201) focuses more on being able to deal with security issues rather than just identifying them.
More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13Google+

Vertical Sector Focus: Critical Infrastructures

criticalhomepagethumbFrom terrorism to vandalism, it’s preparedness, response, training and partnerships. Learn about some of the critical security issues facing this sector.

Visit the Critical Infrastructure page to read more.