Among businesses today, the awareness of the threat of
cyberattacks and cybercrime from insiders is gaining
While cyber insurance policies have traditionally been centred on
the risk posed by external players, insider threats originate from
trusted individuals who – through malice, negligence or even
carelessness – cause harm to their organisation’s IT systems,
finances, and intellectual property, says security analytics firm
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In 2017, 90% of organisations reported feeling vulnerable to
insider attacks, up from 64% in 2015 and 74% in 2016, the
newest research from Haystax reveals. By 2018, it projects that
up to 99% of organisations will report being concerned about the
threat from insiders.
According to almost 1,500 cybersecurity professionals surveyed,
the top three risk factors for insider threats are: having too many
users with excessive access privileges, an increasing number of
devices with access to sensitive data, and the increasing
complexity of information technology.
The results of the research suggest that insurers have more to do
when it comes to assisting their clients in mitigating the risks
posed by insiders in the cyber world.
“The insurance industry is all about accurately anticipating risk,
yet it seems to believe that insider threat activity can be much
harder to predict in a consistent way than, say, human mortality
or even the weather,” Haystax’s CEO Bryan Ware told Insurance
According to Ware, evidence suggests that those trusted
individuals who go on to break the rules often exhibit “very clear
risk indicators, sometimes even weeks or months in advance of
an actual insider event.”
The solution for cyber insurers, he says, is to ensure that clients
have a “robust” insider threat mitigation program in place.
“One that analyses not just network data, but also other
information sources that can shed light on potentially malicious,
negligent or accidental human behaviours before they become a
crisis,” Ware said.
Earlier this year, a report from Aon Risk Solutions warned that
companies’ increasing reliance on technology is leaving them
exposed to a wide range of cyber-related risks – including insider
risk, which Aon said, “plagues organisations,” adding that many
underestimate their severe vulnerability and liability.