Researchers found that employees’ errors are the main cause of cybersecurity incidents and problems

Researchers from SolarWinds from August to September 2019 conducted a survey among 110 IT specialists, managers and directors of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as employees of companies in the public and private sectors in Germany. They found that employees’ errors are the problem of cybersecurity No. 1.

According to the survey, the main cause of cybersecurity incidents was employees’ errors (80%), followed by risks caused by inadequate security of networks and applications (36%), as well as cybercriminals who penetrated the network of organizations (31%).

“Our research shows once again that the biggest risk to the organization comes from the inside. This underscores the continued need for organizations to address the human side of IT security and consistently educate users on how to avoid mistakes, while encouraging an environment of learning and training”, — said Tim Brown, vice president of SolarWinds security.

In terms of internal threats, IT experts recognized poor password management as a major concern. According to 45% of respondents, poor management and password weaknesses are the most common causes of accidental or careless violations on the part of employees, and 42% said sharing passwords is the most common problem.

Tim Brown
Tim Brown

Other causes of incidents also included accidental leakage, deletion, corruption or alteration of critical data (40%) and copying of data to unprotected devices (36%).

“Tech pros also need the best possible technology to effectively fight against both threats from the inside and potentially more sophisticated threats from the outside”, — considers Tim Brown.

However, according to the survey, 89% of technical specialists feel unprepared for the successful implementation and management of cybersecurity tasks currently with their current IT skills. More than half of the technical experts surveyed (54%) believe that they are not ready to use predictive analytics to determine the likelihood of results in their field.

Read also: Vulnerability in Signal messenger allows spying on users

Next, 55% of respondents are extremely concerned about employees making mistakes that put organizations at risk. Almost half of the experts interviewed are extremely concerned about cybercriminals, who in the next 12 months may become the main cause of security incidents.

According to 25% of respondents, the most significant obstacle to maintaining and improving IT security in their organizations is the complexity of the IT infrastructure, followed by budgetary constraints (20%) and a lack of labor force (19%).

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James Brown

Technology news writer and part-time security researcher. Author of how-to articles related to Windows computer issue solving.

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