Insider Threats Cause 60% of Data Breaches [Prevention Guide]

Insider Threats Cause 60% of Data Breaches [Prevention Guide] Insider threats pose a significant risk to organizations, accounting for 60% of data breaches.

These breaches can be caused by malicious insiders seeking personal gain, as well as unintentional incidents due to negligence or lack of awareness.

In this article, we discuss the prevalence of insider threat data breaches and provide practical tips to help your organization prevent these incidents and protect your valuable data assets.

The Majority of Data Breaches are Caused by Internal Threats

Insider threat data breaches occur when employees, contractors, or third-party partners with legitimate access to an organization’s data and systems misuse their access to steal, leak, or compromise sensitive information. These breaches can have severe consequences, including financial losses, reputational damage, and loss of customer trust.

And, unfortunately, the number of such incidents has risen by 47 percent since 2018, while their cost has risen by 31 percent in the same time period.

Malicious insiders may act with the intent to harm the organization, driven by factors such as personal grievances, financial incentives, or espionage.

In other cases, breaches result from unintentional actions, such as falling victim to phishing attacks, failing to follow security protocols, or inadvertently sharing sensitive data with unauthorized individuals.

Regardless of intent, the consequences of insider threat data breaches can be significant, and organizations must prioritize strategies to mitigate these risks.

11 Tips to Prevent Insider Threat Data Breaches:

  1. Use data breach monitoring software: Software like Breachsense allows you to detect data breaches the moment they happen. This lets you revoke access, change passwords, and prevent cyber attacks before they happen. Book a demo today.
  2. Implement role-based access control: Limit access to sensitive data by granting permissions based on an employee’s job responsibilities, ensuring that they only have access to the information necessary for their role.
  3. Conduct regular security training: Provide ongoing security awareness training to educate employees about potential threats and best practices for maintaining data security.
  4. Monitor user activity: Implement user behavior analytics and other monitoring tools to detect suspicious activities and potential insider threats.
  5. Establish a clear security policy: Develop and enforce comprehensive security policies that outline employees' responsibilities for protecting sensitive data and the consequences of non-compliance.
  6. Encourage a security-conscious culture: Foster a culture of security within your organization by promoting transparency, open communication, and employee involvement in security initiatives.
  7. Perform background checks: Conduct thorough background checks on potential employees, contractors, and third-party partners to identify any red flags or potential risks.
  8. Implement data loss prevention (DLP) tools: Utilize DLP solutions to detect and prevent unauthorized data transfers or leaks, as well as monitor the dark web consistently to ensure your data isn’t leaked there.
  9. Encourage reporting of suspicious behavior: Create an anonymous reporting system that enables employees to report concerns or suspicious activities without fear of retaliation.
  10. Conduct regular risk assessments: Periodically assess your organization’s security posture to identify potential vulnerabilities and areas for improvement.
  11. Develop an incident response plan: Create a comprehensive incident response plan to ensure your organization is prepared to address insider threat data breaches quickly and effectively.


Insider threat data breaches are a significant concern for organizations, and proactive measures are essential to prevent these incidents and minimize their potential impact.

By implementing robust access controls, providing regular security training, and fostering a security-conscious culture, organizations can better protect their valuable data assets and maintain customer trust in an increasingly connected world.

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