Who poses the biggest security threat: Insiders or outsiders?

10 Jan 2017

Image: kirill_makarov/Shutterstock

The importance of cybersecurity grows in line with digital adoption, as more pivotal documentation, data and finance is stored online. But is the risk coming from ‘outside’?

A recent report from PwC found that a growing number of companies are investing in a security strategy for the internet of things.

The report – measuring over 10,000 participants in 133 countries – found that security strategies are becoming more nuanced and considered, with more thought going into sophisticated measures.

Elsewhere, it has emerged that cyberattacks against EU servers saw a sharp increase in 2016, with a total of 110 separate attempts to gain access to its data.

Of this number of attacks, officials have said that 80pc could be described as being harmful, warning that many could have completely compromised the organisation’s valuable data.

In short, online threats are abundant, and difficult to consistently defend against. However, a good start would be to know where they are most likely coming from: inside or outside?

A recent infographic from Digital Guardian looking into the various threats posed by outside actors as well as those employed in your office makes for interesting reading.

While state-sponsored hacking dominates today’s news cycle, other attacks orchestrated from within affected companies are perhaps a hidden problem.

According to Digital Guardian’s findings, the motive changes when the source of the attack is discovered, with outsiders far more likely to be incentivised by financial gains than insiders.

While outsiders use DDoS attacks or malicious USB drops, insiders have knowledge of systems, can physically steal data and, more often than many would care to admit, cause problems due to basic human error.

The infographic reveals more on this issue.


Infographic: Digital Guardian

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic