Insider cyber incidents: human error is the top cause of serious data breaches

Published: Thursday, 15 July 2021 08:54

Egress’ Insider Data Breach Survey 2021 has revealed that an overwhelming 94 percent of organizations have experienced insider data breaches in the last year. Human error was the top cause of serious incidents, according to 84 percent of IT leaders surveyed. However, IT leaders are more concerned about malicious insiders, with 28 percent indicating that intentionally malicious behaviour is their biggest fear. Despite causing the most incidents, human error came bottom of the list, with just over one-fifth (21 percent) saying that it’s their biggest concern.

Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of organizations have been breached because of employees breaking security rules, and 73 percent have been the victim of phishing attacks.

The survey, independently conducted by Arlington Research on behalf of Egress, surveyed 500 IT leaders and 3,000 employees in the US and UK across vertical sectors including financial services, healthcare and legal.

Key insights include:

Egress CEO Tony Pepper comments:

“Insider risk is every organization’s most complex vulnerability – and it has far-reaching consequences, from ransomware attacks to loss of client trust. Organizations must act now to mitigate the risk posed by their people.

“The research highlights the importance of empowering employees – they want to protect their employer’s data, and it’s up to organizations to ensure that they’re building a security-positive culture. With the right technology and strategy in place, organizations can transform their people from their biggest security vulnerability into their strongest line of defence.”

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