Some 95 percent of enterprise risk assessments find employees actively using TOR and private VPNs, among other anonymity tools and methods, to bypass security and web browsing restrictions at work, says a report conducted by Dtex Systems on its customer database.
“A commonality among the organizations assessed is that they are often unprepared to manage the security risks that surface when they have holistic visibility into employee endpoints on and off the corporate network,” said Rajan Koo, SVP Customer Engineering at Dtex Systems
Employees are the weakest link in an organization’s infrastructure as their behavior may expose sensitive corporate data and systems to cybercriminals. Insiders are responsible for some 60 percent of attacks, out of which 68 percent are caused by negligence, 22 percent by malicious intent and 10 percent are a result of credential theft.
Methods to bypass corporate security protocols are increasing in popularity. Anonymous VPN use for prohibited or illegal activities doubled between 2015 and 2016 and employees are regularly “researching, installing or executing security or vulnerability testing tools in attempts to bypass corporate security,” according to the report.
“Some of the year’s largest reported breaches are a direct result of malicious insiders or insider negligence,” said Christy Wyatt, CEO at Dtex Systems. “With limited visibility into user risk, companies face unlimited exposure which can have heavy legal and/or financial implications. Organizations that actively monitor what’s happening on their endpoints and quickly act to address risks can protect their most important assets: their employees and their data.”
Security risks inside organizations also come from the use of personal email accounts on company infrastructure and devices, and data theft during the first and last two weeks of employment. According to 87 percent of the companies in the report, their employees defied corporate guidelines and bypassed blocking tools to use personal web-based email services at work. Employees are not the only malicious insiders, as anyone with access to corporate endpoints, data and applications is a security risk, including contractors and business partners.