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Are your employees mentally checked out from their positions? According to Gallup, “quiet quitters,” workers who are detached and do the minimum required as part of their roles, make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce.
Unengaged employees create new security risks for enterprises as it only takes small mistakes, such as clicking on an attachment in a phishing email or reusing login credentials to enable a threat actor to gain access to the network.
Considering that 82% of data breaches last year involved the human element or human error, security leaders can’t afford to overlook the risks presented by quiet quitting, particularly amid the Great Resignation, where employees expect greater work-life balance.
Quiet quitting and insider threats
While quiet quitting and under-engaged employees constitute an insider risk, they’re not necessarily a threat. Gartner draws a distinction between the two by arguing that “not every insider risk becomes an insider threat; however, every insider threat started as an insider risk.”
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Under Gartner’s definition, every employee, contractor or third-party partner can be considered an insider risk if they have credentials to access to corporate systems and resources, because they have the ability to leak sensitive information and intellectual property.
As a result, organizations need to be prepared to prevent insider risks from growing into threats that leak regulated data. Part of that comes down to identifying those employees that have checked out.
“It’s important to be aware of quiet quitting, so a quiet quitter doesn’t become a loud leaker. Leading indicators for quiet quitting include an individual becoming more withdrawn becoming apathetic towards their work,” Forrester VP Principal Analyst Jeff Pollard.
“If those feelings simmer long enough, they turn into anger and resentment, and those emotions are the dangerous leading indicators of insider risk …