Costly cyberattacks are now almost routine for businesses, but while many organizations are focusing on external attackers, companies may want to know that the largest single cause of confidential data loss is due to employees (42%). Nearly three out of four companies have suffered an insider threat event.
According to the IT Security Risks Survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, 73% of companies have been affected by both intentional and unintentional internal information security incidents. Out of those, a fifth (21%) of companies also lost valuable data that subsequently had an effect on their business.
As a company’s IT infrastructure expands, new components add new vulnerabilities. The situation is aggravated by the fact that not all employees keep pace with a rapidly changing IT environment. As a result, companies are exposed to not only external threats but internal threats from employees.
These take many forms. The survey reported cases of both accidental data leaks (28%) and intentional leaks of valuable company data (14%). Internal threats included the loss or theft of employee mobile devices, with 19% of respondents confirming that they lost a mobile device containing corporate data at least once a year.
Fraud committed by employees is another issue. The survey found that 15% of organizations encountered situations where company resources, including finances, were used by employees for their own purposes. The losses caused by these incidents exceeded the damage caused by confidential data leaks for enterprises. Small and medium businesses lose up to $40,000 on average from fraudulent activity by employees, while the figure for enterprises exceeds $1.3 million.
"It's no secret that a security solution alone is not enough to protect a company’s data. And the results of this study confirm that,” said Konstantin Voronkov, head of Endpoint Product Management, Kaspersky Lab. “What’s required is an integrated multi-level approach powered by security intelligence and other supplementary measures. These measures may include the use of specialized solutions and the introduction of security policies, such as restricting access rights."
To help businesses combat both internal and external threats, Kaspersky Lab recommends a reliable, multi-level protection strategy. In particular, technology like anti-phishing, encryption, mobile device security, and protection for virtual infrastructure and financial transactions should be in place to provide reliable, targeted security for the individual nodes of a corporate IT infrastructure and data centers.