Threat Intelligence

2/21/2019
05:15 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Human Negligence to Blame for the Majority of Insider Threats

In 98% of the assessments conducted for its research, Dtex found employees exposed proprietary company information on the Web - a 20% jump from 2018.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of insider threats are caused by users who introduce risk due to careless behavior or human error, according to new research from Dtex. This compares to 13% of threats due to compromised credentials and 23% caused by intent on harming the organization.

"That 64% number is huge and something we think companies should focus on," says Rajan Koo, head of Dtex's insider threat research team. "We find that by reducing the number of negligence incidents, companies can cut down on the potential of their employees being compromised."

In related research released this week, Endera reported that companies suffer from at least three workforce-related incidents per week, adding up to 156 incidents per year. And, according to Egress Technologies, more than four out of five companies (83%) have had employees expose customer or business data.

Lock Down Those Links
In 98% of the assessments conducted for its research, Dtex found employees exposed proprietary company information on the Web – a 20% jump from 2018. Typically they send out a document via an insecure link to a colleague or third-party company using file-sharing tools that are unsanctioned by the company, Koo said.

"What happens is people will send a link from their personal Google Docs or Dropbox account, not realizing that the link is not secure," he explains. "In our research, we've found that these documents get indexed on Google and other search engines so the bad guys can easily find them publicly on the Web. We recommend that people lock down any links they send with a user name and password."

The study also found that in 95% of the assessments, employees looked to circumvent company security policies – a notable jump from 60% last year. In many instances, people are using private VPNs and TOR browsers in the hope of shielding their activities, Koo says. While often employees are simply looking to bypass security so they can do their work more efficiently, Dtex has found the use of such tools is often motivated by malicious intent.  

Dtex also runs assessments that track whether a person is a flight risk, which Koo defined as a person with a “propensity to leave.” The company found employees engaging in such behavior in 97% of its assessments. 

"What we'll do is track people who have spent a lot of time updating their LinkedIn profile or posting their resume and then watch to see if they've made a data transfer to a USB," Koo says. "In almost every organization, people tagged with a high propensity to leave typically take data with them. For each organization we've studied, we find at least one example of this a year."

Koo says security pros have become really good at protecting the perimeter from malware attacks. But as the perimeter erodes with more people working from home, the introduction of cloud-based apps, and the entrance of a younger, digitally fearless workforce who may log onto a corporate network from an insecure outside network, a new crop of user behavior intelligence platforms has surfaced.

These platforms enable companies such as Dtex, Endera, and others to leverage user behavior analytics to more efficiently detect insider threats.

Avivah Litan, a vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, says this emerging field of user behavior analytics has been a missing piece in corporate security profiles – until now.

"Dtex and other companies, along with the traditional SIEM vendors, have solutions … that sit on the user's device and can see things that you can't see from the cloud," Litan says. "Companies need to take a look at monitoring users, but do it in a way that respects privacy."

Related Content:

 

 

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two cybersecurity summits at Interop 2019. Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the Interop agenda here.

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
REISEN1955
50%
50%
REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2019 | 9:38:29 AM
No shit Sherlock?
This should come as a surprise to nobody.  'Gee, that email looked real enough?"   And that invoice looked nice.  Maybe I did get a refund.  Users are always the weak link.  The weight of infections delivered through phishing attacks is immense and yet, people still click and click.   This is no surprise at all. 
Crowdsourced vs. Traditional Pen Testing
Alex Haynes, Chief Information Security Officer, CDL,  3/19/2019
BEC Scammer Pleads Guilty
Dark Reading Staff 3/20/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Well, at least it isn't Mobby Dick!
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
The State of Cyber Security Incident Response
The State of Cyber Security Incident Response
Organizations are responding to new threats with new processes for detecting and mitigating them. Here's a look at how the discipline of incident response is evolving.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-9945
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-23
SoftNAS Cloud 4.2.0 and 4.2.1 allows remote command execution. The NGINX default configuration file has a check to verify the status of a user cookie. If not set, a user is redirected to the login page. An arbitrary value can be provided for this cookie to access the web interface without valid user...
CVE-2019-9942
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-23
A sandbox information disclosure exists in Twig before 1.38.0 and 2.x before 2.7.0 because, under some circumstances, it is possible to call the __toString() method on an object even if not allowed by the security policy in place.
CVE-2018-20165
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-22
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in OpenText Portal 7.4.4 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the vgnextoid parameter to a menuitem URI.
CVE-2019-1716
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-22
A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Software for Cisco IP Phone 7800 Series and Cisco IP Phone 8800 Series could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition or execute arbitrary code. The vulnerability ...
CVE-2019-1763
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-22
A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Software for Cisco IP Phone 8800 Series could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to bypass authorization, access critical services, and cause a denial of service (DoS) condition. The vulnerability exist...