Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

2/4/2009
05:25 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Human Error Cited As Greatest Security Risk

Data breaches caused by human error last year accounted for 35.2% of incidents with reported causes.

In Deloitte's sixth annual Global Security Survey, people are the problem.

"[P]eople continue to be an organization's greatest asset as well as its greatest worry," Adel Melek, global leader of security and privacy services at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, said in the report. "That has not changed from 2007. What has changed is the environment. The economic meltdown was not at its peak when respondents took this survey. If there was ever an environment more likely to facilitate an organization's people being distracted, nervous, fearful, or disgruntled, this is it. To state that security vigilance is even more important at a time like this is an understatement."

On one level, that couldn't be more obvious: It's not as if anyone worries about squirrels hacking servers; security has always been about people. (Robots, the report says, are unlikely to replace the human workforce during the lifetime of anyone reading the report. Finally, some good employment news.)

Yet despite the obviousness of the problem, the obvious solution -- complete denial of access -- doesn't work. People use computers and computers are more useful when connected and it just gets worse from there. That may explain why identity and access management remained top of mind for survey respondents.

Deloitte's survey, drawn from major financial companies around the globe, focuses on governance, investment, risk, use of security technologies, quality of operations, and privacy. It includes some good news -- external breaches have declined sharply over the past year -- and troublesome news -- fewer companies say they have the commitment and funding to address regulatory compliance.

In terms of risk, specifically information systems failure, people are identified as the most significant vulnerability. "Human error is overwhelmingly stated as the greatest weakness this year (86%), followed by technology (a distant 63%)," the report states. It attributes the rising risk to increased adoption of new technologies and social networking.

In 2008, data breaches caused by human error declined, the Identity Theft Resource Center said last month. Nonetheless, such breaches accounted for 35.2% of incidents with reported causes.

Survey respondents cited viruses and works, e-mail attacks, and phishing/pharming as the most common cause of repeated occurrences of external breaches. But organizations are clearly getting better at dealing with these threats because the percentage of companies reporting repeated incidents arising from these causes fell last year.

External breaches arising from viruses and worms affected 15% of respondents in 2008 and 43% in 2007; external breaches arising from e-mail attacks affected 24% of respondents in 2008 and 57% in 2007; breaches arising from phishing/pharming affected 7% in 2008 and 38% in 2007.

Only 20% of respondents said they hadn't been affected by a breach arising from an external attack; only 30% said they had not been affected by a breach through an internal attack.

Viruses and worms also led the list among causes for internal breaches, affecting 11% of respondents.

The report observes that while organizations have made progress preventing repeat attacks arising from viruses/worms, they have been less successful in dealing with e-mail attacks and phishing/pharming. The reason is because e-mail attacks are more varied and because e-mail can't just be shut down.

"Organizations need to continue to figure out ways to thwart these threats if the Internet is to be a trusted communications medium," the report says.

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
'BootHole' Vulnerability Exposes Secure Boot Devices to Attack
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/29/2020
Average Cost of a Data Breach: $3.86 Million
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  7/29/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-18112
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
Affected versions of Atlassian Fisheye allow remote attackers to view the HTTP password of a repository via an Information Disclosure vulnerability in the logging feature. The affected versions are before version 4.8.3.
CVE-2020-15109
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-04
In solidus before versions 2.8.6, 2.9.6, and 2.10.2, there is an bility to change order address without triggering address validations. This vulnerability allows a malicious customer to craft request data with parameters that allow changing the address of the current order without changing the shipm...
CVE-2020-16847
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-04
Extreme Analytics in Extreme Management Center before 8.5.0.169 allows unauthenticated reflected XSS via a parameter in a GET request, aka CFD-4887.
CVE-2020-15135
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-04
save-server (npm package) before version 1.05 is affected by a CSRF vulnerability, as there is no CSRF mitigation (Tokens etc.). The fix introduced in version version 1.05 unintentionally breaks uploading so version v1.0.7 is the fixed version. This is patched by implementing Double submit. The CSRF...
CVE-2020-13522
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-04
An exploitable arbitrary file delete vulnerability exists in SoftPerfect RAM Disk 4.1 spvve.sys driver. A specially crafted I/O request packet (IRP) can allow an unprivileged user to delete any file on the filesystem. An attacker can send a malicious IRP to trigger this vulnerability.