Management Strategies

09:47 AM
Preston Gralla
Preston Gralla
Connect Directly

Insiders, Not Hackers, Are Main Cause Of Data Breaches: Survey

In survey, 69% of companies say data breaches were the result of either malicious employee activities or non-malicious employee error.

Most network security breaches are caused by insiders, rather than by hackers, viruses, or worms, according to a new study released by the think tank Ponemon Institute.

In the study, 69% of companies reported that their data security breaches were the result of either malicious employee activities or non-malicious employee error. The leading single cause of data security breaches was non-malicious employee error, at 39%. Only 16% of serious data leaks were linked to hackers or break-ins. Of the 163 companies surveyed, 75% reported that a serious security breach had occurred within the past year.

The survey also covered the most common types of data security breaches. Most data breaches involve the loss of confidential business information, followed closely by the loss of personal customer information. According to the survey:

  • 39% of data breaches involved confidential business information.
  • 27% of data breaches involved personal information about customers.
  • 14% of data breaches involved intellectual property including software source code.
  • 10% of data breaches involved personal information about employees.

"The rise in identity theft and cyber crime has made data security a top-of-mind issue for many Americans as well as corporations," Larry Ponemon of the Ponemon Institute said in a statement. "Companies spend considerable resources to combat outsiders, and the data suggests they are successful. However, companies have begun to realize that to protect customer trust, company brand and competitive secrets, they must now focus on the threat within."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Bank Systems & Technology Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Bank Systems & Technology Oct. 14, 2014
Bank Systems & Technology's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of customer analytics. Learn what big data means for banks, meet Wells Fargo CDO Charles Thomas, find out how to connect with your Gen Y customers, and more.
Bank Systems & Technology Radio
Archived Audio Interviews
Join Bank Systems & Technology Associate Editor Bryan Yurcan, and guests Karen Massey and Jerry Silva from IDC Financial Insights, for a conversation about the firm's 11th annual FinTech rankings.