Exploring the risky behavior of IT security professionals

Almost 65% of the nearly 300 international cybersecurity professionals canvased by Gurucul at RSA Conference 2020 said they access documents that have nothing to do with their jobs.

risky behavior security professionals

Meanwhile, nearly 40% of respondents who experienced bad performance reviews also admitted to abusing their privileged access, which is double the overall rate (19%).

“We knew insider privilege abuse was rampant in most enterprises, but these survey results demonstrate that the infosecurity department is not immune to this practice,” said Saryu Nayyar, CEO of Gurucul. “Detecting impermissible access to resources by authorized users, whether it is malicious or not, is virtually impossible with traditional monitoring tools. That’s why many organizations are turning to security and risk analytics that look at both employee and entity behaviors to identify anomalies indicative of insider threats.”

Key findings:

  • In finance, 58% said they have emailed company documents to their personal accounts.
  • In healthcare, 33% have abused their privileged access.
  • In manufacturing, 78% accessed documents unrelated to their jobs.
  • In retail, 86% have clicked on a link in an email from someone they didn’t know.
  • In midsize companies, 62% did not alert IT when their job role had changed.

risky behavior security professionals

This showcases the problems organizations have with employees behaving outside of the bounds of practical and published security policies. The human element is often the deciding factor in how data breaches occur. Monitoring and deterring risky employee behavior with machine learning based security analytics is the most effective measure in keeping mayhem to a minimum.

People may not realize their behavior in opening the door to cybercriminals, which is why security analytics technology is so critical to maintaining a secure corporate environment.

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