“Flight Risk” Insiders Fuel Data Theft


December.jpgSecurity-minded business leaders have always been (rightly) concerned about data theft from those with privileged access. A 2020 insider threat report covered earlier this year by Infosec.com and others validates such worries, tying 60% of all insider cybersecurity incidents and data loss to so-called “flight risk” employees and contractors–those who are most likely to soon leave their positions within a company.

Citing statistics gathered from more than 300 insider incidents, across multiple industry verticals, authors claim that 80% of flight-risk workers will begin taking proprietary data within two months to two weeks prior to leaving. Overall, therefore, data exfiltration is the number-one insider threat, with email being the most widely used vector for loss, followed by unauthorized uploads to websites and cloud storage. In the report, pharmaceutical firms, along with firms in financial services and information technology, accounted for the highest number of exfiltration incidents, probably owing to higher-than-average volumes of intellectual property common to those industries. Unauthorized account sharing, shadow IT and the misuse of cloud collaboration tools are among other insider practices that continue to vex IT security ops teams. Even if your company is smaller than those covered in the report, its focus and conclusions can still be instructive. After all, what business doesn’t house or handle information it wants to keep private? If insider threats concern you, an IT Managed Services Provider (IT MSP) can explain the latest methods of detecting and interpreting the telltale signs.