GITNUX MARKETDATA REPORT 2024

Insider Threats Statistics: Market Report & Data

Highlights: The Most Important Insider Threats Statistics

  • As of 2021, 85% of organizations have experienced an insider attack.
  • 62% of companies perceive insider threats to be more likely than external attacks.
  • Insider threats are known to take an average of 77 days to mitigate.
  • Around 34% of businesses are hit by insider threats annually.
  • Approximately 60% of organizations consider malicious insider attacks more common than accidental ones.
  • The average annual cost of insider threats is $11.45 million.
  • One study showed that 60% of insider threats involved employees intending to quit within 90 days.
  • Accidental breaches from insiders account for nearly 62% of total incidents.
  • The global healthcare industry suffered 120 insider attacks on average, per year, from 2018-2020.
  • At least 27% of U.S. federal agencies experienced insider threats or breaches in 2020.
  • In 2021, approximately 74% of organizations felt vulnerable to insider threats.
  • 36% of companies believe detection of insider threats is becoming harder due to more sophisticated tactics.
  • 55% of organizations experienced an event from an insider in their privileged access management erratic behavior in 2020.
  • Insider threats can cost a company $2 million per incident on average.
  • Only 12.5% of IT professionals feel confident in their ability to identify the signs of an insider threat.
  • 41% of companies have more than 1,000 sensitive files open to every employee.
  • 63% of the total data breach costs come from the actions of negligent employees and contractors.
  • In Q1 2021, insider threat incidents were up by 8%.

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Understanding Insider Threats Statistics is crucial in today’s digital landscape where organizations are constantly exposed to security vulnerabilities. This blog will delve into the phenomena of insider threats, explore the alarming statistics related to this significant matter, highlight the complexities surrounding threat detection, and the significant role played by employee negligence, among other factors. By leveraging solid statistical data on insider threats, organizations can gain insights that help them adopt comprehensive and pro-active cybersecurity strategies, to mitigate inherent risks and protect their critical data.

The Latest Insider Threats Statistics Unveiled

As of 2021, 85% of organizations have experienced an insider attack.

The statistic that 85% of organizations in 2021 have suffered an insider attack holds immense significance in painting a vivid picture of the pressing and ubiquitous reality of insider threats. In the context of a blog post on insider threat statistics, it serves as a jarring wake-up call, a potent reminder to businesses– large and small – that the enemy within is not a mere possibility but a pervasive issue. It underscores the urgency to foster a security-centric corporate ethos, bolster internal security protocols, and engage in continual vigilance to deter, detect, and defuse these potentially devastating threats. In the high-stakes game of information security, this statistic is a glaring neon sign, signalling the critical need for comprehensive measures against insider threats.

62% of companies perceive insider threats to be more likely than external attacks.

Navigating the treacherous seas of Insider Threats Statistics takes us to a glaring beacon of an insight: ‘62% of companies perceive insider threats to be more likely than external attacks’. This striking percentage points to the now undeniable concern bedevilling the corporate world. Companies are casting a questioning eye on their own corridors and cubicles, acknowledging an unsettling truth – that the most dangerous threats might be lurking not from faceless hackers in shadowy cyberspaces, but from within their own walls. This unnerving reality cannot be ignored in any crucial discussion around insider threats, and poses as a harsh wake-up call for organziations to prioritize cybersecurity internally as heavily as they armour themselves against the outside.

Insider threats are known to take an average of 77 days to mitigate.

Highlighting the fact that insider threats typically require an average of 77 days to address underscores the daunting reality business organizations face in the realm of cyber security. Such a prolonged timeframe not only opaquely reveals the intricate complexity involved in curbing these threats, but it also brings to limelight the latent financial and productive toll such events can have on an organization. This statistic serves as a loud wake-up call for organizations to prioritize inside threat detection and response strategies, thus attaining a level of preparedness that could drastically reduce potential harm and downtime.

Around 34% of businesses are hit by insider threats annually.

Highlighting that approximately 34% of businesses are impacted by insider threats annually serves as an illuminating wake-up call in our discourse on Insider Threats Statistics. It underscores the significant and often underestimated vulnerability that institutions face from within their own walls. This complex, prevalent challenge calls for increased internal security measures and comprehensive threat management programs. The fact that over a third of businesses are affected annually punctuates the importance of insider threat awareness, fostering a proactive culture of security and contributing to the development of robust strategies in safeguarding business assets.

Approximately 60% of organizations consider malicious insider attacks more common than accidental ones.

Highlighting the statistic ‘Approximately 60% of organizations consider malicious insider attacks more common than accidental ones,’ serves as a stark reminder of the critical security challenges businesses face today. It underscores the potent risk from within—the ‘insider threat’—a contributing factor to the rising scale and frequency of security breaches across various sectors. Providing this statistic helps the readers to understand the severity of malicious insider threats, pushing them to see beyond mere accidental breaches, thereby emphasizing the importance of having robust systems in place to mitigate such security concerns, a crucial aspect discussed in our blog post on Insider Threats Statistics.

The average annual cost of insider threats is $11.45 million.

In the intriguing world of Insider Threats Statistics, the staggering figure of $11.45 million as the average annual cost of insider threats serves as a stark warning beacon. It underscores the magnitude of the financial burden companies face due to malicious or negligent behavior inside their own walls. This alarming statistic effectively peels back the conventional view of cyber-security threats and business risk, putting into glaring perspective the escalating impact of the insider menace. It amplifies the urgency for businesses to address this opaque challenge diligently, reinforcing the importance of robust internal security protocols, thorough employee background checks, and comprehensive data access controls in securing a company’s fortress against this often-overlooked enterprise risk.

One study showed that 60% of insider threats involved employees intending to quit within 90 days.

This intriguing statistic offers valuable insight for a blog post about Insider Threats Statistics, unearthing a significant link between an increased likelihood of insider breaches and employees preparing to cut ties with their organization. Highlighting that 60% of insider threats surface within 90 days of an employee’s planned departure, it underscores the critical need for companies to monitor employee behavior and data access patterns, especially during transitional periods. This not only emphasizes the dynamics of insider threats but also underlines the importance of strategic security measures to mitigate potential risks during an employee’s exit trajectory.

Accidental breaches from insiders account for nearly 62% of total incidents.

Awakening to the stark reality encapsulated by this potent figure: accidental breaches from insiders making up nearly 62% of total incidents, paints a compelling image of the pervasive and often overlooked insider threat landscape. In a blog post on Insider Threat Statistics, such a figure underlines the critical importance of not just focusing on malicious cyber-attacks or outside hacking attempts, but also placing substantial emphasis on nurturing an organization’s security culture. It sheds light on the urgency of comprehensive employee training, vigilant system monitoring, and cultivating a risk-aware culture. In essence, this statistic is a wake-up call to all entities to significantly bolster their internal data protection mechanisms in an age burgeoning with digital information.

The global healthcare industry suffered 120 insider attacks on average, per year, from 2018-2020.

Highlighting the alarming number of insider attacks targeting the global healthcare industry annually from 2018 to 2020, presents a stark reality check on the magnitude of cyber threats lurking within our trusted establishments. The underscored frequency of 120 attacks per year, illuminates the urgency and importance of adopting robust internal security measures within the healthcare industry. In the framework of Insider Threat Statistics, this disquieting trend, starkly illustrates an urgent realm of cyber security that demands our vigilant attention and comprehensive action plans.

At least 27% of U.S. federal agencies experienced insider threats or breaches in 2020.

Highlighting the revelation that no less than 27% of U.S. federal agencies endured insider threats or breaches in 2020 punctuates the urgency and significant reach of this issue. When set against the backdrop of its severe consequences which disrupts vital operations, jeopardizes national security, and erodes public trust, this finding underscores that insider threats remain a persistent and prevalent concern, even within the most protected and sensitive of networks. Thus, it draws a compelling picture of the escalating challenges faced in safeguarding data privacy and integrity, ultimately attesting to an undeniable need for robust preventative measures against these internal security threats.

In 2021, approximately 74% of organizations felt vulnerable to insider threats.

Highlighting the striking figure of ‘In 2021, around 74% of organizations feeling vulnerable to insider threats’ mirrors the escalating concerns within corporations about the security risks posed by their own employees or stakeholders. In a blog post on Insider Threats Statistics, this data is crucial as it underscores the growing need for profound insider threat management strategies. In essence, it sends out a loud and clear signal that despite technological advancements, the human element still offers a significant, and in some cases, the most substantial, security loophole. It evokes a call to action, encouraging organizations to devote greater resources and efforts to mitigate and manage potential insider threats, thereby enhancing their overall security structure.

36% of companies believe detection of insider threats is becoming harder due to more sophisticated tactics.

In the panorama of burgeoning insider threats, the statistic stating that 36% of companies perceive detection as increasingly arduous due to evolving sophisticated tactics renders a chilling testament to the gravity of this issue. It underlines the urgency for robust preventative measures and strategic cybersecurity frameworks in businesses. This compelling figure not only paints a concerning image of the escalating complexity in threat landscape but also underscores the necessity for continuous adaptation and innovation in countermeasures. It compellingly points towards the fact that being rerouted once is no guarantee against future encroachments if the companies do not stay prepared for newer, more advanced tactics.

55% of organizations experienced an event from an insider in their privileged access management erratic behavior in 2020.

Painting a vivid picture of the current menace within the behind-the-scenes landscape of cybersecurity, a striking 55% of organizations fell victim to insidious activities from insiders, specifically in their privileged access management, marked by erratic behavior in 2020. Anecdotally woven into the fabric of alarming Insider Threats Statistics, this key data point underscores two profound realizations — the increasing susceptibility of privileged access management systems, often seen as invincible fortresses, to insider malfeasance, and the pervasiveness of insider threats, threatening to erode trust and compromise security within a majority of organizations. This statistic stirs a compelling narrative of the urgent need for enhanced internal vigilance and robust defense mechanisms in the contemporary corporate cybersecurity warfront.

Insider threats can cost a company $2 million per incident on average.

In the intriguing world of Insider Threats Statistics, one should never underestimate the profound financial impact of an internal security breach. When we unravel the figures, the weighty cost of $2 million per incident on average looms like a storm cloud over businesses. This astounding figure serves as a clear warning, yielding insights into the severe financial hemorrhage companies may face due to insider threats. It emphasizes an imperative need for robust preventive measures, internal controls, and strategies to mitigate such risks, spotlighting the economic side of an issue often viewed through a purely security-driven lens.

Only 12.5% of IT professionals feel confident in their ability to identify the signs of an insider threat.

A ripple of concern runs through the IT world, as a mere 12.5% of professionals report confidence in pinpointing insider threats’ warning signs. This alarming statistic subtly underscores the urgent need for enhanced awareness and training within the IT landscape, acting as an attention-grabbing wake-up call on a topic often overlooked. With only a small slice of the experts confident in detecting these dangerous cyber threats looming within, the lingering stats-silhouetted question is clear: If our trusted guardians are uncertain, where does that leave us? It is an interrogation of the current landscape that illuminates the escalating confrontation with insider threat and acts as a steppingstone for a discussion on strategies and actionable solutions.

41% of companies have more than 1,000 sensitive files open to every employee.

The statistic that highlights the alarming truth that ‘41% of companies have more than 1,000 sensitive files open to every employee’ packs a significant punch when talking about insider threats. It underlines a direct vulnerability in data management and security practices that are widely prevalent in organizations and invites potentially catastrophic breaches. This data point exacerbates the reality of the insider threat landscape, clarifying that the risk of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands, intentionally or accidentally, is not only real but significantly high. Therefore, it helps in emphasizing the urgent need for instituting stringent data access protocols and regular audits to tame this menace.

63% of the total data breach costs come from the actions of negligent employees and contractors.

Within the intricate web of insider threat statistics, the gory figure stands out starkly: a whopping 63% of total data breach costs sprout from actions or negligence of employees and contractors. This sheds light on the potential ‘enemies within’, emphasizing the necessity of stringent security measures not just faced towards the exterior threats but also focused inward. This underpins the urgency to promote a culture of cybersecurity mindfulness, inculcating stringent security practices, and a regular auditing system that addresses vulnerabilities. Breaches caused, inadvertently or intentionally, by insiders are neither insignificant nor infrequent, rather a mammoth contributor to total data breach costs, implying that the peril is as real and tangible within as it is from the outside.

In Q1 2021, insider threat incidents were up by 8%.

The 8% surge in insider threat incidents during Q1 2021 serves as a stark alarm bell, echoing the rising tide of this form of cyber breach. This leap is more than a mere uptick in numbers; it signifies a growing vulnerability that organizations must grapple with in their ongoing quest for cybersecurity. In the evolving chess game of protecting digital assets, this stat places the spotlight on the human element, obliquely stressing that the danger often originates from within, making it essential to fortify not just external defenses, but also internal vigilance. This data point is a critical cog in the conversation about Insider Threat Statistics, underlining the urgency and the dire need to address this issue.

Conclusion

The data and statistics surrounding insider threats clearly highlight a significant risk that organizations face today. It is crucial for businesses to recognize the prevalence and potential damage that insider threats can cause, not only from a data loss perspective but also from a financial standpoint. By incorporating a comprehensive and strategic approach involving awareness, monitoring, and prompt response measures, companies can safeguard their systems from such threats, thereby securing their operations and ensuring business continuity.

References

0. – https://www.www.gartner.com

1. – https://www.enterprise.verizon.com

2. – https://www.www.proofpoint.com

3. – https://www.securityintelligence.com

4. – https://www.www.protenus.com

5. – https://www.www.cyberark.com

6. – https://www.www.infosecurity-magazine.com

7. – https://www.www.prnewswire.com

8. – https://www.www.helpnetsecurity.com

9. – https://www.www.forrester.com

10. – https://www.cybersecurity.att.com

11. – https://www.www.statista.com

12. – https://www.www.insiderthreatdefense.us

13. – https://www.www.varonis.com

14. – https://www.www.meritalk.com

FAQs

What is an insider threat?

An insider threat refers to a security risk that originates from within the organization, such as employees or business associates, who have intimate knowledge and access to the organization's infrastructure, data, and security practices. They could be either malicious actors intending to harm the organization, or irresponsible employees unintentionally causing security breaches.

What are some common forms of insider threats?

Insider threats can take many forms, but commonly, they involve data theft, sabotage, fraud, espionage, and IT infrastructure damage. The threat can also take the form of simple, non-malicious errors like misdirected emails, unsecured files, and poor password management.

How prevalent are insider threats?

Insider threats are a significant risk for many organizations. According to the 2020 Insider Threat Report from Cybersecurity Insiders, 68% of organizations reported feeling vulnerable to insider threats, showing the prevalence and potential damage these threats can cause.

How can one prevent insider threats?

Preventing insider threats requires a holistic approach, including but not limited to, extensive employee background checks, implementing strict access controls, providing regular security training and awareness, using strong, unique passwords, and employing network security tools that can detect unusual activities.

How can organizations detect insider threats?

Organizations can leverage advanced technologies like User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect abnormal behavior or activities in the system. Policies and internal controls can also be put in place to spot and alert about potential insider threats. Additionally, regular audits and monitoring of user activities can help in the early detection of possible threats.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

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