Insiders still biggest threat to data security, says study

Enterprise Innovation Staff
20 Nov 2008

In a recent study commissioned by Compuware Corporation, survey results showed that insiders were the number one cause of all data breaches with hackers ranking a distant fifth.

The survey shows insiders caused 75% of all breaches in the US while external hackers committed only 1% of breaches. The 2008 Study on the Uncertainty of Data Breach Detection also reveals 79% of US respondents had experienced at least one data breach.

'Enterprises must recognize that simply trusting employees will inevitably prove detrimental to their security, their risk postures and their business interests,' said Perry Carpenter of Gartner, 'A mixture of tried-and-true security practices, security awareness, and low- and high-tech toolsets will provide the most effective and comprehensive defense against the insider threat.'

The study also shows that 41% of all data breaches occurred in a mainframe environment, putting abundant confidential customer data at risk considering more than 80% of the world's corporate and governmental data resides on mainframes.

'Data security has become a critical issue to the financial integrity of businesses and individuals alike. This study shows that both personal and corporate information is flooding out of the organizations entrusted with its confidentiality,' said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute.

The 2008 Study on the Uncertainty of Data Breach Detection was based on responses from 3,596 IT professionals in the US, UK, France and Germany with an average of nearly nine years of experience. In the US, 57% of respondents were from IT Operations and Security. Commissioned by the Compuware Corporation, the survey was fielded by the Ponemon Institute.

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