You hope your employees continuously make cybersecurity a top priority. Maybe you offer annual security awareness training or send emails and post reminders about strong passwords and not clicking on every link in their inboxes.

However, unfortunately, even with reminders, too many employees put security on the back burner – whether intentionally or unintentionally. Where does that leave you?

Vulnerable. Just one security mishap – like using “Welcome123” as their password or opening one attachment that happens to contain malware – can lead to a destructive breach of your organization’s most sensitive data.

At Bay Dynamics®, we help businesses and verticals nationwide predict crime before it happens by using behavioral analytics. Our Risk Fabric® software flags and analyzes potential risky behaviors of employees, third party contractors and “bad actors” on the outside.

Since many of the recent string of breaches involved insider threats, we did some digging into our own data collected from real-world business environments. Here’s what we found:

  • In approximately 90 percent of data loss prevention incidents – meaning when employees leak sensitive data outside an organization – the employees are legitimate users who innocently send out data for business purposes. They are exhibiting normal employee behavior to their peers and department even though it might be in violation of the established business policy.
    • The majority of the remaining 10 percent (approximately) of data loss prevention incidents involve users who are deliberately taking shortcuts and are exhibiting signs of being repeat offenders, putting their employer at risk.
    • Close to one percent of data loss prevention incidents are critical ones which either show signs of being a malicious or compromised insider.
  • Approximately 20 percent of users are an uneducated workforce when it comes to information security and therefore are putting their organization at risk of a breach.
  • When they are called out by their employer, close to 80 percent of users who are exhibiting risky behavior (i.e. visiting high risk websites such as gambling, pornography and others) make changes so that they are more security-conscience.
  • By identifying which employees are innocently leaking sensitive data, you, as the employer, can take easy steps to stop them. Since they are most likely unaware of the risk that comes along with their actions, most of them will be receptive to security awareness “Just-In-Time” training and want to change their behaviors.
  • Separating out the innocent can also help you hone in on the real offenders or malicious insiders. You should not only closely watch those users but also take immediate action. Malicious insider incidents must be identified, prioritized, escalated and remediated in a timely fashion before they lead to a major data breach or data exfiltration.

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