[ISN] Insiders overtake viruses as biggest worry

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Sun Sep 16 2007 - 22:18:24 PDT


By John E. Dunn
14 September 2007

Company insiders have overtaken viruses as the most reported security 
incident, the annual report from the respected US Computer Security 
Institute (CSI) has reported.

The annual Computer Crime and Security Survey [PDF] for 2007 surveyed 
494 security personnel from US corporations and government agencies, 
finding that insider incidents were cited by 59 percent of respondents, 
while only 52 percent said they had encountered a conventional virus in 
the previous year.

Both insider and virus incidents have been falling since a high in the 
year 2000, but this is the first time insider incidents have been more 
reported than viruses. The CSI defines such incidents in a very general 
way, covering abuses such as leaking or stealing company information, 
using pirated software, or accessing pornography.

The other type of incident on the rise was laptop and mobile device 
theft, which at 50 percent of respondents in the survey could soon also 
overtake the virus to be the second most reported security hassle faced 
by IT staff.

The CSI steers away from drawing hard conclusions from the survey 
figures, noting more than once that security vendors have a vested 
interest in promoting their own particular area of business, including 
insider threats - as the most pressing one for companies to protect 
themselves against. This makes it hard to judge the seriousness as 
opposed to the incidence - of specific threats.

Respondents also reported a higher incidence of targeted attacks, where 
organisations felt they had been specifically singled out for attack. 
Twenty-eight percent of those questioned reported between one and five 
such attacks, with 67 percent having no idea whether they had been 
attacked in this way or not.

Internet-based attacks were now becoming tightly integrated, blurring 
the lines between company and consumer security, traditionally seen as 
separate concerns.

In the past, the struggle has been cast as one between security 
professionals and the criminals who attack their networks. Now, the 
picture is more complicated. Criminals attack both enterprise networks 
and steal customer data. They use this data to then attack individual 
consumers, the report concludes.

The CSI survey draws a rather confusing and complex picture of security 
worries in US companies, but it has one advantage over the legion of 
other mostly vendor-driven reports than now litter the news pages - it 
is independent.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.3 : Sun Sep 16 2007 - 22:40:37 PDT