Insider threat programmes set to double as security breaches persist


2015 is set to see a huge rise in the number of IT professionals taking action to address insider threat in their organisations, according to new research.

Currently 43% of IT professionals in the UK have an insider threat programme already in place, and 36% are planning to put one in place this year. A further 8% are planning an insider threat programme within five years.

The research, which saw IS Decisions survey 250 IT professionals in the UK and 250 in the US, found that combatting insider threat is high on their agenda following a string of high-profile internal security breaches. An average of 37% across the two countries are planning an insider threat programme this year.

>See also: The cyber enemy within: Rise of the insider threat

The research also found that IT professionals are spending more on security in general, with the proportion of IT budgets spent on security increasing by a third in the last year.

In addition, 73% stated that they expect their expenditure to increase further. However, a disproportionately tiny 3.6% of overall IT budget spend currently goes toward internal security issues specifically.

IT professionals in 2015 are planning a combination of tactics to tackle insider threat, with the majority including both ‘technology, tools and data’ (66%), and ‘organisation-wide security training and awareness’ (57%) in their plans.

However, IT professionals are also craving guidance on mitigating insider threat, with 91% believing that industry wide collaboration is needed and 78% wanting clearer guidelines on tackling the issue.

 “2014 has been dubbed by many as the ‘year of the breach’,” said François Amigorena, CEO of IS Decisions. “We kept seeing big-name businesses hitting the news as a result of major internal security breaches week after week.

>See also: Ovum research reveals growing risk of data breach from insider threats

“That has carried over into 2015 to some extent with examples like the US health insurer Anthem. However, it looks like IT professionals are very much taking heed of what they’re seeing, meaning 2015 could be set to be the ‘year of tackling insider threat’.

“It’s also encouraging to see that IT professionals are not just thinking up hypothetical plans, they are putting their money where their mouths are in allocating budget. But there is a need there for more collaborative help and guidance, which is interesting given insider threat is an organisational issue. Clearly IT professionals are now open to working together to understand how best to address it.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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