Your business is susceptible to countless threats and vulnerabilities, all of which aim to bring your organization crumbling to the ground. These include all types of technology-related problems that cause downtime and other terrible situations that your business has to overcome. Let’s look at some of the threats you face from day to day, and try to establish an appropriate response to each.
Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. Blog
There are countless threats out there that your business could fall victim to, but they generally all have one thing in common: more often than not, the user is a weak point in the defenses of your organization. We’ve put together a list of some of the most devastating hacks that your users should be aware of so they can best respond to them.
The Internet of Things is everywhere, which means that potential security risks are also everywhere. Your business needs to take the risks presented by the IoT into account and prepare accordingly.
When your organization is implementing a new project, there are a lot of expectations and deadlines that are watched with a close eye. While it might be ideal to get the project finished as quickly as possible, doing so can put a lot of pressure and stress on it that can ultimately be its downfall. For example, if you don’t think out the planning phase carefully, the entire implementation process can suffer--particularly when working on new IT initiatives.
Insider threats are an unpleasant reality of working with sensitive information, though you might be relieved to hear that not all instances of insider threats have malicious intentions. Then again, maybe you aren’t relieved since a threat is still a threat. Either way, we’ll discuss some statistics concerning insider threats, and what you can do about them.
Insider threats are defined as internal threats that could come in the form of either malicious or negligent users. Perhaps an employee recently quit and left the office in a flurry of madness, or maybe you have employees who just don’t care to follow security best practices. Either way, insider threats are major problems that need to be addressed.
Internal and External Threats: Reality vs Expectations
A study by Accenture and HfS Research shows that 69 percent of businesses have experienced the theft or destruction of data due to internal threats, compared to only 57 percent experiencing the same due to external threats. In contrast, only 55 percent expect to become the victim of an internal threat, while 80 percent expect external affairs to cause trouble. The lesson to be learned is that you need to be prepared for all types of threats--even those from the inside.
Exposure of Sensitive Data to the End User
The Ponemon Institute conducted a study in which 62 percent of users felt that they had access to data that they weren’t supposed to have access to. In essence, a user-access control system needs to be put into place to keep users from glimpsing sensitive or private information, such as employee salaries or personally identifiable information (Social Security numbers, birth dates, home addresses, etc).
Reaction Time to Insider Threats
According to Ponemon, the reaction time to insider threats varied. Some organizations responded quickly, while others went months, or even years before finding out:
- Within 24 hours: 24 percent
- Within a week: 19 percent
- Within a month: 14 percent
- Within 6 months: 20 percent
- Within a year: 9 percent
- More than a year: 14 percent
It’s somewhat surprising that so many organizations took so long to find out, but it’s a clear indicator that something’s wrong. Businesses need to be able to find out who accesses sensitive files, and why, at a glance. Monitoring network traffic and activity can provide this critical function.
The Ability to Respond to Insider Threats
This one’s simple; SANS Institute reports that 31.9 percent of organizations have no way to combat insider threats, while 68.1 percent do have the ability to respond. If so many organizations have the capabilities to do so, then why don’t they? Perhaps they just aren’t aware of the activity.
How Effective Preventative Measures Are
SANS Institute reports that:
- Only 9 percent of businesses have proven techniques to prevent insider threats from taking root.
- 42 percent claim to have tools but haven’t used them.
- 36.4 percent are in the process of implementing processes to prevent insider threats.
- A paltry 2.3 percent aren’t concerned at all about insider threats.
Mimecast claims that 45 percent of companies feel that they’re unequipped to handle malicious insider threats within their email security--more than any of the other potential email threats. Keeping a tight grip on what leaves and enters through your business’s email stream is key to protecting your organization’s digital assets.
The Types of Insider Threats
According to Gartner, there are three types of insider threats. One, called a “second streamer” (someone who uses the data from one job to obtain revenue from another job) consists of 62 percent of insider threats. 29 percent of insider threats are called the “career launcher,” or someone who took information with them as they left a company. Only 9 percent of insider threats could be classified as sabotage.
So, how does your business handle insider threats? If you can’t answer this question, Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. can. To learn more, give us a call at (508) 622-5100.
Wireless Internet signals, referred to most commonly as Wi-Fi, are commonplace in every office. Even organizations that don’t often need access to the Internet, like restaurants and coffee shops, have wireless connections available for customers to use. However, just because you can connect to free Wi-Fi, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.
When it comes to your business’s data security, there can be no room for error. October is Cyber Security Month, so there’s no better time to ensure that your business is taking all of the proper precautions to maximize security protocol. However, there’s an often-forgotten aspect of cybersecurity called employee risk management, and it’s more complex than you might think.
One of the most popular business technology trends that we're seeing is employees bringing their own devices into the workplace (BYOD). This trend is due to the popularity of mobile devices (owned by over half of all U.S. adults). While this trend benefits companies in many ways like enhancing mobility, implementing BYOD for a business is not without risks.