Thursday 28 May 2020

Morey Haber

Over 60pc businesses suffered insider breach, says report

UAE, June 10, 2019

Around 64 per cent of businesses believe that they have experienced either a direct or indirect breach due to misused or abused employee access in the last 12 months, according to a report by BeyondTrust, a worldwide leader in privileged access management.

Meanwhile, a similar number (62 per cent) believes they’ve had a breach due to compromised vendor access, stated the company in its Privileged Access Threat Report.

In its fourth edition, the global survey explores the visibility, control, and management that IT organisations across the globe - including the UAE and Saudi Arabia have over employees, contractors, and third-party vendors with privileged access to their IT networks.

Poor security hygiene by employees continues to be a challenge for most organisations. Writing down passwords, for example, was cited as a problem by 60 per cent of organisations, while colleagues telling each other passwords was also an issue for 58 per cent of organisations, a steady increase from 2018’s statistics.

The report also highlighted regional differences, with only 28 per cent of Middle East businesses expressing worries about employees downloading data onto a memory stick, while 42 per cent see this as an issue in APAC.

Ultimately, 71 per cent of organisations agree that they would be more secure if they restricted employee device access. However, this isn’t usually realistic, let alone conducive to productivity.

CTO Morey Haber said: “Both internal employees and third-party vendors need privileged access to be able to do their jobs effectively, but need this access granted in a way that doesn’t compromise security or impede productivity.”

“In the face of growing threats, there has never been a greater need to implement organisation-wide strategies and solutions to manage and control privileged access in a way that fits the needs of the user,” stated haber, who is also the chief information security officer at BeyondTrust.

The businesses surveyed reported an average of 182 vendors logging in to their systems every week. At organisations with over 5,000 employees, 23 per cent said that they have more than 500 vendors logging in regularly, highlighting the sheer scope of the risk exposure.

This year’s report uncovered that trust in vendor access is now lower than trust in employee access, with only one in four (25 per cent) saying they completely trust vendors, in comparison to 37 per cent of employees.

This is a stark comparison to last year’s report, where 72 per cent of businesses admitted that they have cultures that are too trusting of third parties.

In an age where data breaches have immense financial and reputational implications for businesses, it’s a positive step that these organisations are now assessing the level of trust they place in their third-party vendors.

The report also delves into the threats posed by emerging technologies. The risks associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) posed a big concern for the professionals surveyed, with the visibility of logins from IoT devices revealed as the most pressing issue.

Three quarters (76 per cent) are confident they know how many IoT devices are accessing their systems, while four in five are confident they know how many individual logins can be attributed to these devices.

Haber said: "As the vendor ecosystem grows, the threat landscape evolves and users should be granted specific role-based privileges. Organisations need to accept that the way to mitigate risks is by managing privileged accounts through integrated technology and automated processes that not only save time, but also provide visibility across the environment."

“By implementing cybersecurity policies and solutions that also speed business efficiency, versus putting roadblocks in users’ way, organisations can begin to seriously tackle the privileged access problem,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service


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