Insiders as a Growing Threat

By: Arieanna Schweber | 8/11/2015

According to the 2015 Cyber Security Intelligence Index compiled by IBM, there are more successful cybersecurity incidents than ever before. Between 2013 and 2014, the number of security events dropped by 36%, but the number of resultant security incidents remained static, showing a greater success rate. Even more troubling, more “bad guys” are insiders than ever before.

In 2013, more than half of attacks (56%) were instigated by outsiders, and yet it was becoming apparent that inadvertent actors posed the biggest risk. Inadvertent actors are insiders who unwittingly aid attackers, whether its falling for a phishing scheme or compromising their password. In the 2015 report, special attention was paid to the inadvertent actors contribution to security incidents. According to the report, the number of breaches attributed to outsiders went down to 45%, with 31.5% attributed to malicious insiders and 23.5% to inadvertent actors. From this, more than half the “bad guys” are actually a part of your organization.

Earlier this year, we examined many of the same concerns in our 2015 US Mobile Device Security Report. According to our study, 52% of respondents use their employer-owned devices for personal use, which puts corporate data at risk. Many employees, particularly Millennials, further put data at risk by modifying default settings or accessing “not safe for work” content (personal email, online banking / shopping, social media, public WiFi, file sharing, etc). Employees may not be putting data at risk on purpose, making them inadvertent actors - ones still capable of causing a major data breach.

In our report, we outline a 3-pronged approach to mitigate security risks, including Education, Policies and Layered Technology solutions to secure devices.Absolute can help your organization plug the security holes created by mobility and human error. Our unique Persistence technology offers an important layer to any data security strategy and helps mitigate the risk of human error, rogue employees, and cybercrime. Learn more at

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