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What’s Fueling Insider Threats in 2021?

The risk of employees leaking data, on purpose or not, will rise from 25% to 33%. That’s what Forrester wrote in its recent report, Predictions 2021.

Forrester cites three main reasons for the uptick in insider cybersecurity threats.

1. The first, of course, comes from the increase in remote work due to the pandemic.

2. The second results from widespread COVID-19 shutdowns and their subsequent economic fallout. So many jobs are on the line that employees may act out.

3. Third, people can move company data more easily than ever.

“Combined, these will produce an increase of 8 percentage points in insider incidents, from 25% today to 33% in 2021,” Forrester analysts wrote. “The overall number of insider threats will also be pushed higher as firms get better at identifying and attributing incidents to insider activity.”

The attacks don’t have to be malicious to qualify as problematic, however. As Guru Pai, CEO of Privafy, says, “the human being will continue to be the most vulnerable part of cybersecurity. Either consciously or unconsciously, that’s going to be the place where compromise happens.”

Almost 80% of CIOs see users as more likely to ignore IT policies in the coming year and pose greater security risks than ever before.

CompTIA wrote in its Industry Outlook 2021 report. “It’s not a nice-to-have, but a need-to-have. Not having security expertise is a deal-breaker for many customers considering whom to work with as a technology provider.” And to that parenthetical point, WatchGuard notes that it predicts attackers to “significantly” ramp up their assaults on VPN, remote desktop protocol, and other remote access services. “Using stolen credentials, exploits, and good old-fashioned brute-forcing, we believe attacks against RDP, VPN, and remote connection servers will double in 2021,” WatchGuard says.

So, what does all this mean to you as a business?

  1. Use a Security -Centric IT company like Kappa

  2. Invest in comprehensive antivirus software and a business class Firewall

  3. Education for your employees. Employees are the FIRST line of defense in cyber attacks. 6 Things Employees should not do on their PC

  4. Make sure your company VPN is as strong as can be- Ask Kappa

  5. Make sure everyone's passwords are strong and secure

  6. When letting an employee go, remove access immediately

  7. Maximize security around online banking

  8. Pay attention to email security

  9. Have a centralized system for company data, not individual PC's

  10. Have Kappa monitor your network

  11. Use Zero Trust policies

Beware of phishing attacks which appear to be taking an ever-growing number of forms. The NCSC has published guidelines for how to spot and handle these — it’s worth communicating this advice to your employees too.

For more clarification and support reach-out to us anytime We are happy to discuss maximizing the security of your network. It is imperative in 2021.


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