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Employees Are Biggest Threats To Cybersecurity

Business professionals surveyed about the security measures they felt are the most important in thwarting cyber threats pointed to the use of employee background checks.

According to the results of the First Advantage 2015 Cybersecurity Survey, people within companies are a huge cybersecurity concern.

[bctt tweet=”62% of cybersecurity professionals see insider threats growing”]

The respondents, who represented a variety of professions human resources, risk management and C-suite executives, were questioned about the security controls best equipped to protect companies from cyber attacks and threats.

Nearly 60 percent pointed to employee background screenings as a significant tool for better protecting organizations, while anti-malware services came in as a close second at 53 percent.

“The lack of ongoing, periodic background screening of existing employees that occurs is in stark contrast to its recognized importance by the same organizations,” Mark Silver, chief security officer at First Advantage, explained in a press release.

Close to all of those surveyed (98 percent) said the screening of new employees was at least “somewhat important” in preventing security risks, and 57 percent said it was “extremely important.”

While initial background checks of employees may offer some degree of protection, Silver emphasized the need for ongoing screenings as well.

“The fact is that an initial background check does not protect an organization in perpetuity. In order to better protect against potential insider-driven breaches, periodic rescreening should be done. Fortunately, technology now allows for groups of employees to be rescreened at once – for a fraction of the cost of the original background check,” Silver added.

Earlier this year, a comprehensive survey of cybersecurity professionals pointed to the rising cybersecurity threat that comes from a company’s own workforce.

The Insider Threat Report, released in June, found that 62 percent of respondents said the number of instances surrounding insider threats have increased over the last 12 months. Despite this, the study still found less than 50 percent of organizations have the right controls in place to prevent insider attacks.

These threats are usually posed by privileged users – such as system administrators, database administrators and managers – who have access to sensitive company information.

Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents said these privileged users represent the biggest risk to organizations, closely followed by contractors and consultants (48 percent) and then regular employees (46 percent).

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