But do cases like this mean the insider is the biggest threat? No, it doesn't. It just means that, in many cases, it may make it easier for insiders to access information because they know where it is, and how it's protected. But as colleague Mike Fratto pointed out in an earlier post, based on Verizon's Data Breach report:
74% of the attacks were from external sources and accounted for 266,788,000 records; 32% from partners accounting for 1,509,000 records; a paltry 20% from insiders accounting for 1,330,000 records; and 39% were from multiple sources accounting for 15,796,000 lost records. On a per breach basis, insiders were responsible on average for more records lost per breach, 100,000, while external sources accounted for a median 37,847, and partners 27,000. Which poses a bigger threat? The most active group, external sources, or the more effective group, internal sources? It doesn't much matter, does it? What this tells me is that information security programs need to focus on protecting information.
Fratto is exactly right. It doesn't (shouldn't) matter where the threat is coming from. Classify your data. Put the proper security controls in place: encryption, access control, monitoring the movement of data, and everything else that goes with a solid security program -- and you're doing what needs to be done to protect your intellectual property, and the safety of your customers.
IT security revolves around protecting the data: whether your adversary is sitting in the cube next to you, or in Kazakhstan.
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