IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Insider Security Threats Are On the Rise

IDC research shows user errors and misuse are putting organizations at risk for cyber attacks. By Colleen Frye

INCREASINGLY, midmarket companies need to worry more about the “enemy within” than outside attackers. According to a recent IDC white paper sponsored by SolarWinds, nearly 62% of survey respondents report user error as the top cybersecurity threat within the company. Fewer than half (47%) cite external infiltrators as the leading cause of cybersecurity issues.

Of the insider threats, more than 50% of respondents claim that “regular employees” (not privileged users) pose the biggest risk for insider abuse/misuse. After employees, the research finds that contractors (41%) and privileged IT admins (31%) are the next biggest threats. Most of the insider situations are not malicious in nature, according to the report, which also recommends more education and training.

On the bright side, IDC says businesses have made progress against outside threats, with cybersecurity now a budgeted organizational expense. Moreover, 65% of survey respondents expect their spend on security tools and services in 2019 to increase year over year, while 34% expect it to stay the same. Fewer than 1% expect funds to decrease.

Detection and monitoring tools are in place at most midmarket companies, but IDC says basic protective practices need additional focus. Furthermore, the survey finds that 40% of organizations are beginning to use threat intelligence to adjust configurations or search for vulnerable situations, while 48% prioritize vulnerability scanning, followed by SIEM adoption (47%).

However, the white paper points out that basic cyberhygiene practices, which must be combined with detection, are lacking. For example, when asked about technologies used to protect organizations from external and internal threats, only 32% cited endpoint protection and 27% cited patch management.

With 67% of midmarket companies turning to third parties for help with managing their environments, now may be the time for channel pros to look upstream with cybersecurity services like end-user training.

Image: iStock

About the Author

Colleen Frye's picture

Colleen Frye is ChannelPro's managing editor.

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