Employees Still Pose Biggest Security Threat, Survey Finds

The article excerpt below comes from the electronic news report nextgov.  The full article can be accessed at http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20100817_1347.php

 “Workers inside agencies pose the biggest threat to computer security, providing foreign governments and other perpetrators direct access to sensitive networks, according to results of a survey of security experts released on Tuesday.

Most of the 22 government security experts PacketMotion, a security vendor, surveyed pointed to employees as the greatest threat to steal sensitive information because failure to comply with policies combined with lax controls often provide easy access to data.

Results of the survey reflect “the reality that the [perpetrator] will hijack or use the credentials of internal users,” said Jonathan Gohstand, vice president of marketing and product strategy at PacketMotion. The survey was conducted during the Black Hat USA 2010 conference in Las Vegas in July.

Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed said employees represent the biggest threat to the government’s enterprise computing environment, and 14 percent pointed to administrators who have been given access to certain networks and files as threats as well. Eighteen percent said outsiders, including contractors, were the biggest security threat, while only 9 percent named hackers and cyber criminals.


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