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Boards must get wise to the enemy within

Clearswift research shows how risks exploded in the last year.

By Alexander Sword

Businesses face growing security threats from within their own networks, but are not taking the risk seriously enough, according to new research from Clearswift.

The report found that the threat of breaches from within organisations’ own networks is rising, up from 58 percent in the previous report to 73 percent.

70 percent of respondents believed that the Snowden disclosures and North Korea hack of Sony had pushed internal security threats higher on the corporate agenda, while 40 percent of companies across the globe state that there has been an increase in the number of internal breaches in the past year.

However, only 28 percent felt that internal breaches were given as much credence as external threats and 14 percent say that the threat will not be taken seriously until there is a serious data breach caused by an internal actor.

Citing reasons that internal threats are not taken seriously enough, 58 percent blamed lack of awareness and understanding and 56 percent the increase in the use of cloud apps. 74 percent felt social media had exarcerbated internal security threats.

Among other findings, 69 percent felt it was important to balance employee privacy against oversight, while only 25 percent felt their company does enough to raise employee awareness of how information is controlled.

Guy Bunker, CTO at Clearswift comments: "Many businesses are still struggling to accept that one of their biggest security risks could come from people they employ in their organisation."

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Bunker continued: "High-profile attacks, such as the Sony Pictures data breach are helping to shed light on these occurrences, but many people don’t realise that this was how the attack began and wouldn’t liken the situation to their own business … unless of course it does happen to them.

"Organisations need to be prepared for both accidental and malicious data loss and ensure that adaptive prevention methods are put in place to stop them at the root – before they can even leave an individual’s computer or device."

The report polled 500 IT decision-makers and 4,000 employees internationally.

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