Insider threat: Users are out of control
Employees are granted excessive privileges and access for their particular roles resulting in unnecessary risks to organizations.
One of the most startling statistics from a new BeyondTrust survey reveals that 28 percent of respondents admitted to having retrieved information not relevant to their job. When asked what information was accessed, nearly one-quarter identified financial reports and almost half provided written responses specifying salary details, HR data and personnel documents, etc
To illustrate just how serious of an issue this is for organizations, one IT employee at a large, well-known critical infrastructure provider admitted to having retrieved financial reports while another IT employee at well-known professional services firm admitted to retrieving R&D plans, neither of which was relevant to their jobs.
The survey also revealed two-thirds have controls in place to monitor privilege access yet 54 percent of those respondents stated that they could circumvent those controls. This statistic illustrates that while current solutions are in place to detect privileged abuse, they’re easily defeated by the average end user.
“Allowing any employee unfettered access to non-essential company data is both unnecessary and dangerous and should be an issue that is resolved quickly,” said Brad Hibbert, EVP of product strategy at BeyondTrust. “The insider threat has always been a vulnerability we take very seriously at BeyondTrust and it’s our goal to help customers combat this growing problem.”
Additional key survey takeaways:
- 44 percent of employees have access rights that are not necessary to their current role
- 80 percent of respondents believe that it’s at least somewhat likely that employees access sensitive or confidential data out of curiosity
- Over three-quarters of respondents say the risk to their organization caused by the insecurity of privileged users will increase over the next few years
- Customer information is considered most likely at risk if there’s a lack of proper access controls over privileged users.