Aug 9, 2016

New Study: Data Theft Rising Sharply, Insider Threats Cited as Leading Cause

New Ponemon Institute Report Finds Most Employees Have Too Much Access, Multiplying Damage When Accounts Are Compromised

NEW YORK, Aug. 09, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Three out of every four organizations have been hit by the loss or theft of important data over the past two years, a sharp increase since 2014, according to a new survey of more than 3,000 employees and IT practitioners across the U.S. and Europe. The report, released today, was conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Varonis Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNS), a leading provider of software solutions that protect data from insider threats and cyberattacks.

The rise in data loss and theft, according to the survey, is due in large part to compromises in insider accounts that are exacerbated by far wider employee and third-party access to sensitive information than is necessary, and by the continued failure to monitor access and activity around email and file systems — where most confidential and sensitive data moves and lives. 

The survey report, "Closing Security Gaps to Protect Corporate Data: A Study of U.S. and European Organizations," resulted from interviews conducted in April and May, 2016, with 3,027 employees in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany.  Respondents included 1,371 end users and 1,656 IT and IT security professionals, in organizations ranging in size from dozens to tens of thousands of employees from a variety of industries including financial services, public sector, health care and life sciences, retail, industrial, and technology and software.

Among the key findings:

Dr. Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder of Ponemon Institute, a leading research center dedicated to privacy, data protection and information security policy, observed, "Despite all the technology available and the spike in highly publicized attacks, data breaches continue to rise. The most valuable data featured in most breaches is unstructured data such as emails and documents. When emails and files are surfaced, they tend to cause scandal, forcing the breach to have a lasting effect on the company's reputation. This survey raises key points as to why hackers are able to maximize impact — too many employees have too much access, beyond what they need to do their jobs. On top of this, when employees access valuable data and their activity is not tracked or audited, it becomes far too easy for an external hacker or a rogue insider to get away unnoticed."

Yaki Faitelson, Co-Founder and CEO of Varonis, said, "Right now we're in a technology arms race with hackers and insider threats. Unnecessarily excessive internal access combined with a lack of monitoring and auditing sets organizations up for disaster. Sony Pictures, the Panama Papers and the recent Democratic National Committee intrusions all concerned the theft of files and emails that were not protected well enough from insider threats or outside attackers that compromised insider credentials, causing major damage to those organizations and their reputations. These new findings, alongside the fallout from those breaches, should keep executives awake at night. What will be the straw that makes businesses focus their efforts on protecting their precious information assets? Varonis is helping thousands of organizations around the world address these challenges, prepare for and stop ransomware and other malicious threats that get inside and impersonate insiders."

Additional Resources

About Varonis
Varonis is a leading provider of software solutions that protect data from insider threats and cyberattacks. Through an innovative software platform, Varonis allows organizations to analyze, secure, manage, and migrate their volumes of unstructured data. Varonis specializes in file and email systems that store valuable spreadsheets, word processing documents, presentations, audio and video files, emails, and text. This rapidly growing data often contains an enterprise's financial information, product plans, strategic initiatives, intellectual property, and confidential employee, customer or patient records. IT and business personnel deploy Varonis software for a variety of use cases, including data security, governance and compliance, user behavior analytics, archiving, search, and file synchronization and sharing. With offices and partners worldwide, Varonis had approximately 4,800 customers as of June 30, 2016, spanning leading firms in financial services, healthcare, public, industrial, insurance, energy and utilities, media and entertainment, consumer and retail, technology and education sectors.

News Media Contact:
Sarah Wheble
CTP
617-412-4000 x 227
Email: swheble@ctpboston.com