For organisations today, the threat of a cyber attack on their IT systems and data is becoming an ever increasing problem, both from within the organisation and from external sources. In some ways it is easier to protect your organisation from external threats by ensuring that you back up your data regularly; password protect your data; and ensure you have strong anti-virus solutions in place. But protecting your critical company information from internal attacks is even more difficult.
In a recent survey by CA, 90% of organisations feel vulnerable to insider attacks on their IT systems, insider attacks are often thought of as malicious or unhappy employees that set out to steal information. Often an organisation has too many users with excessive privileges (37%), increasing numbers of devices with access to sensitive data as well as the increasing complexity of their IT systems. However, negligent employees, or contractors cause equally high numbers of breaches 51%, alongside malicious employees 47%.
The report by CA, highlights that the technology organisations are using to monitor ‘acceptable behaviour’ has a very important part to play, but is rarely effective, as most organisations are unclear about what sensitive data they own. The use of deterrence controls such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP) or encryption factors are limited, as most privileged users can bypass these systems.
All organisations must be vigilant when it comes to data protection as monitoring will allow cyber security personnel to quickly expose and identify employees not behaving in the right way. Privileged users need to be identified, justified and reduced to help limit the risk of information loss. The survey identifies that 90% of respondents agree that monitoring is necessary, but less than 50% do so. The maturity is a key element here, where multiple technology implementations in organisations dilute the available resources which then compromises effectiveness.
So, in summary much more needs to be done to monitor employees, accesses and changes to systems storing and using sensitive information. For audit and governance requirements monitoring can provide the reports needed to ensure compliance as well as alerting when thresholds are breached. Organisations should consider the value of their information and what security measures are needed to safeguard it. With monitoring, decisions can be made to watch sensitive accesses, higher level privileges than required and create alerts to lock down rogue users.
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