Insider threats are more difficult to detect and prevent than external attacks and pose a major threat to businesses, according to Gurucul.

Insider threats are a major security concern for organizations, as even those tasked with protecting a company’s data can put them at risk, according to a new investigation from Gurucul.

Of the 320 IT professionals surveyed, one in 10 said they would take as much information about the company as possible with them before they quit their job, the white paper Uncover Insider Threats With predictive security analysis. Another 15% of IT pros said they would delete files or change passwords when leaving a company.

SEE: 27 Ways to Reduce Insider Security Threats (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

As most organizations focus on detecting and defending against external cyber threats and hackers, internal threats may be the most significant problem, according to the white paper.

Security professionals report insider attacks are harder to detect and prevent than external attacks: Another survey found that 91% of IT and security professionals said they felt vulnerable to insider threats, whether their actions are malicious or accidental. Some 73% of IT pros polled in another report said they believe insider attacks have become more common over the past year.

Most organizations still use manual, rule-based and role-based processes for static identity management, Gurucul’s paper noted, giving users access to information they don’t need for their work and the ability to to abuse this information. Insider threats can also arise when employee credentials are shared or stolen, which can often go unnoticed, according to the newspaper.

“By combining user and entity behavior analysis and identity analysis, organizations can not only monitor, detect and remove excessive access before it’s too late, but they can also monitor employee actions by detecting unusual or risky behavior, ”Craig Cooper, COO of Gurucul, said in a press release. “By detecting when users act in a way that contradicts their normal behavior and job function, our clients are able to take action.”

To learn more, see 10 Tips to Reduce Insider Security Threats on TechRepublic.

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