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article imageQ&A: What business needs to do to combat insider cyber-risks Special

By Tim Sandle     Feb 18, 2020 in Business
The risk to businesses from insider cyber-incidences, either deliberate or unintentional, is considerable and needs to be treated with the same focus as external threats, according to Tom Miller of ClearForce.
As an indication of the risks to businesses posed by internal cybersecurity issues, IBM's new insider threat report found 204 companies surveyed experienced a total of 4,716 insider attacks in one year. the report further showed how incidents continue to increase in frequency and cost. The frequency of incidents per company has tripled since 2016 and the average cost is now $871,686.
To gain an insight into the types of insider threats and the impact upon businesses, Digital Journal spoke with Tom Miller, CEO of ClearForce.
Digital Journal: How serious are cyberattacks for businesses?
Tom Miller: Cyberattacks are extremely serious. Losing customer data can lead to the downfall of a company, loss of revenue, and a destroyed brand image. It's nearly guaranteed that most organizations will eventually suffer a breach, causing some - particularly small businesses - to go out of business as a result.
DJ: What is the split between insider and outsider attacks?
Miller: Insider threat is becoming more common and costly for businesses across the nation. The Verizon 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 34 percent of all cyber breaches involved internal actors, while insiders were responsible for 59% of the breaches in the Healthcare industry, 45 percent of breaches in Education, and 44 percent in Information Services. A new insider threat report found 204 companies surveyed experienced a total of 4,716 insider attacks in one year. Incidents continue to increase in frequency and cost.
DJ: How and why do insider attacks occur?
Miller:Insider attacks are one of the most challenging cyber risks an organization faces, because they manifest from the many trusted employees and contractors who have unrestricted access within the digital networks to access intellectual property, trade secrets, confidential, financial and customer credit card information.
In addition to access, employees also have “insider knowledge” into the security policies, procedures and gaps that would be otherwise unknown to external parties. Insider attacks occur when employees and contractors under stress become distracted in the performance of their job and make mistakes that create organizational risk, or when they're susceptible to steal or commit fraud for personal financial gain or are vulnerable to exploitation from bad actors on the outside.
DJ: What is the cost to businesses?
Miller:An increase in the frequency of incidents per company has tripled since 2016 and the average cost is now $871,686 per business - resulting in a total average of $11.45 million in damages.
DJ: What solutions are there to detect or prevent insider attacks?
Miller:Organizations have a variety of point solutions to help combat insider attacks, including: employee monitoring, User behavior analytics (UBA); Privileged access management (PAM); Security incident & event management (SIEM), Incident response management (IRM), Data loss prevention (DLP), user training & awareness, and strict third-party vetting procedures.
Most importantly, organizations must leverage solutions that support the early discovery of risk through an ongoing and holistic view of employees who may be actively disengaged, under stress and/or demonstrating leading indicators of high-risk and inappropriate behavior. It is also essential that insider risk solutions ensure legal compliance and the protection of employee privacy.
DJ: Is the solution only based on technology? Can cultural changes inside the firm also help to tackle the problem?
Miller:Leading organizations will create a culture where the company and workforce share the objective of safety and security. That process begins with transparency and often includes the capture of employee understanding and consent on the rationale and parameters for the organization’s insider security programs.
Early detection of employee stress and problems is critical to enable more options to resolve issues and to take preemptive actions that connect employees that need help with the employee assistance and wellness programs offered by many organizations. Everyone benefits in an organization that continuously and effectively engages its workforce, and where the organization can provide the physical and emotional security that most employees expect from their employer.
More about Cybersecurity, cyberthreat, insider threats, Information technology
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