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What We Learned About Insider Threats in 2013 and 2014 By @Vormetric

There has been a strong insider related component in the vast majority of the large breaches that have happened this last year

Now that we’re past the New Year, it’s time to learn from what happened in 2013 and 2014, especially when it comes to IT Security. One of those things we in IT Security should learn is that there has been a strong insider related component in the vast majority of the large breaches that have happened this last year.


If it wasn’t a traditional insider, as in the Korean Credit card breach where 40% of Korean’s data was stolen or when Bradley Manning breached confidential intelligence records, it was a privileged user who managed systems like Edward Snowden using their position to gain access to sensitive data, or the Sony and Target hacks, where privileged user credentials were compromised and used to steal sensitive data.

The Spectrum of Insider Threats

Also looking at the results from our 2013 and 2014 Vormetric Insider Threat Reports, it was clear that people don’t have a strong idea about how to protect their organizations given these changes.  Porous perimeters are now the rule, with Analysts across the board saying that it isn’t “If” you will be breached, it is “When”.  Add to this is usually added the statement that we all need to now revisit our organization’s security stance to accommodate this reality.  For me, the moment when I really absorbed how much things have changed was while reading the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Report – There is a statistic in the report that there is a 90%+ “chance of a click” with 15 phishing email attempts.  This brought it home to me like nothing else that every organization is vulnerable.

But people in our industry still haven’t fully absorbed this change.  They still believe that their traditional perimeter defenses will protect them.  Here’s how that attitude was represented in our 2013 Vormetric Insider Threat Report.

2013 learnings

Last in our 2014 report, it also became clear that the change to considering privileged users to be the most risky employees had not been fully absorbed. Traditional insiders – ordinary employees – were considered most risky, with 3rd party contractors and privileged users following.   I think we’ll definitely be seeing some changes with this year’s report.

2014 learnings

The post What we learned about insider threats in 2013 and 2014 appeared first on Data Security Blog | Vormetric.

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Vormetric (@Vormetric) is the industry leader in data security solutions that span physical, big data and cloud environments. Data is the new currency and Vormetric helps over 1400 customers, including 17 of the Fortune 30 and many of the world’s most security conscious government organizations, to meet compliance requirements and protect what matters — their sensitive data — from both internal and external threats. The company’s scalable Vormetric Data Security Platform protects any file, any database and any application’s data —anywhere it resides — with a high performance, market-leading data security platform that incorporates application transparent encryption, privileged user access controls, automation and security intelligence.

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