Insider threats pose the biggest security risk

insider threat

According to a new study 91 percent of IT and security professionals feel vulnerable to insider threats, and 75 percent believe the biggest risks lie in cloud applications like popular file storage and email solutions including Google Drive, Gmail and Dropbox.

The report from SaaS operations management specialist BetterCloud also shows 62 percent of respondents believe the biggest security threat comes from the well-meaning but negligent end user.

"The rise of SaaS in the digital workplace has made companies more vulnerable than ever to insider threats," says David Politis, founder and CEO of BetterCloud. "A major reason is SaaS has given users all the control over data within the application and, as a result, IT and security teams have lost control. Another major challenge is the complexity of SaaS application architecture, which makes functions like sharing permissions and configurations difficult to manage. Because SaaS is new territory, companies are unprepared to deal with the security blind spots these challenges create."

Among other findings are that 46 percent of IT leaders (heads of IT and above) believe that the rise of SaaS applications makes them the most vulnerable. In addition 40 percent of respondents believe they are most vulnerable to exposure of confidential business information such as financial information and customer lists.

Only 26 percent of C-level executives say they've invested enough to mitigate the risk of insider threats, compared to 44 percent of IT managers.

Poltis concludes, "Historically, companies have relied on perimeter-based security mechanisms like firewalls and intrusion detection systems to keep data inside company walls, but that paradigm simply doesn't work in the cloud. Our findings make it clear that in order to combat these rising threats, organizations must expand their defenses by monitoring and managing the user and all of their interactions within the application."

The full State of Insider Threats in the Digital Workplace 2019 report is available from the BetterCloud site.

Image Credit: Andrea Danti/Shutterstock

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