Cybersecurity pros don’t feel equipped to stop insider attacks

Based on interviews with nearly 1,500 cybersecurity professionals over three years, Haystax Technology released a study that makes it clear that organizations are feeling the pressure from insider threats and are ramping up detection, prevention and remediation.

Regular employees are surpassing privileged users as biggest insider security risk

stop insider attacks

“One consistent message we heard in all of these interviews was that cybersecurity professionals don’t feel equipped to stop insider attacks, despite an increase in funding for things like better controls and training,” said Haystax CEO Bryan Ware. “I’m not surprised that so many are now using analytics, as they need actionable intelligence to proactively identify and defend against threats from both malicious insiders and negligent users.”

Key findings

  • In 2017, 90 percent of organizations reported feeling vulnerable to insider attacks, up from 64 percent in 2015. Haystax predicts 99 percent of organizations will feel vulnerable this year as they struggle with excessive access privileges and an increasing number of devices with access to sensitive data.
  • Privileged users were cited as the biggest insider threat concern for 55 percent of organizations in 2017. Haystax predicts that 2018 will be the year when regular employees surpass trusted insiders as the greater risk.
  • Just 19 percent of organizations deployed user behavior analytics (UBA) solutions in 2016 to proactively monitor employee populations, a figure that jumped to nearly 30 percent last year. Haystax predicts that number will jump to 40 percent this year as AI techniques enhance UBA technologies.
  • In 2015 half of organizations were not leveraging analytics to detect insider threats. Now, that figure has shrunk to just 8 percent as organizations see the inherent value of UBA technologies for insider threat detection, prevention and remediation.
  • Investments in insider threat solutions have grown significantly since 2015, when just 34 percent of organizations increased their investment in combatting insider threat. That figure rose to nearly 50 percent in 2017 and Haystax experts predict it to jump to nearly 60 percent this year, as companies grow more concerned about the rise in the volume and frequency of both external and insider attacks.

This will be a watershed year for insider threat, one that will require increased spending related to addressing insider threats, as well as the adoption of analytical tools to prevent, detect and remediate such attacks.

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