Data protection’s biggest secret: 1 in 10 employees will leak IP data 

by | Sep 14, 2022 | Technology

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When it comes to data protection, the most serious threats often lie within your organization. Malicious or negligent employees can provide a simple entry point for threat actors to gain direct access to your most high-value data, as highlighted most recently by the Apple Car IP leak in August. 

To mark National Insider Threat Awareness Month, Cyberhaven today released a new report that examines proprietary data from 1.4 million workers and over 400,000 exfiltration incidents, and found that one in 10 employees will exfiltrate sensitive data in a six-month period. 

The research found that personal cloud storage accounts are the most common way for employees to leak IP data, with Dropbox being the most popular platform.  

Above all, Cyberhaven’s findings indicate that security leaders can’t afford to overlook the risk of employees leaking sensitive information, particularly amid the Great Resignation. 

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Insider threats during the Great Resignation 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, much has been made of the Great Resignation, which saw 47 million Americans quitting their jobs in 2021, and shows no signs of stopping, with 40% of U.S. workers currently considering quitting their jobs. 

This high turnover of employees means that enterprises can’t depend on employees to maintain the privacy of sensitive data, particularly if they plan to move to a new position. 

Cyberhaven’s research hints at this, finding that employees are much more likely to take sensitive information in the two weeks before they resign, with an 83.1% increase in incidents compared to baseline.

Going forward, enterprises can’t afford to underestimate the level of privilege and access to critical data assets that employees have, nor ignore the financial incentives they have to steal and sell IP data to cybercriminals.  

“Hackers may be trying to get companies’ sensitive data, but employees already have free and open access to it. When they take or leak that information (intentionally or not), it can cost companies hundreds of millions in los …

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