The biggest threats to security are sitting next to you

Survey finds that careless employees, accidents account for most data losses

Information technology administrators rightly worry about outside threats to their networks and information, but they say the biggest threats come from inside, often as a result of accidents or carelessness by employees.

A recent survey by Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Microsoft and RSA, backs up those fears. Forrester surveyed 305 high-level IT decision-makers worldwide, asking them, among other things, what types of security breaches they had experienced. Nearly 58 percent of the incidents were the result of an employee losing a computing device or accidentally posting sensitive information. A sample of the results:

The Numerator

Click for larger image. Source: Forrester Consulting

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is editor of Defense Systems. Follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCaney.

Reader Comments

Tue, Apr 20, 2010

On 60 Minutes, they revealed that copy machines have a hard drive that saves images of things that have been copied, presumably so that multiple copies can be made without rescanning. When these machine reach end-of-life, they can be sold to a reseller without erasing the hard drive. A $500 option is available to allow the images to be cleared, but in the examples shown from New York and PA, the images were there, were of medical records, and were of criminal records. It takes less than a rogue employee to send your secrets out of house.

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