Twenty percent of data loss originates from within, report claims

A study by KPMG has found that a fifth of data loss incidents which occurred this year were a result of internal activity, rather than third party interference, which shows a significant rise compared to statistics gathered in 2009.

Three years ago this type of data loss was accountable for four per cent of the global total, with a total of 23 million people from around the world being impacted by insider activities resulting in data loss, between 2007 and 2010.

KPMG UK’s Malcolm Marshall, indicated that the economic downturn is thought to have played a part in the instigation of this rise in malicious behaviour. The value of data has not gone unnoticed and so unscrupulous employees are more likely to try and profit from exploiting this fact, according to Mr Marshall.

An alternative cause is highlighted in the report, with KPMG pointing out that perhaps third parties are more likely to try and recruit insiders to their causes now, because the security measures levelled against them by businesses are making it more difficult for them to steal data externally.

The targeting of healthcare services is on the rise with over 25 per cent of data loss or security breach incidents attributed to this sector in the first half of the year, impacting on the lives of close to four million people.

Twenty per cent of incidents were recorded by governmental departments, within which close to 40 per cent occurred as a result of third party activity.

Although insider exploitation is a growing area of concern, hacking is by far the most significant threat to businesses and public sector organisations, with nearly 250 million people suffering as a result of a hack during the past three years.

Hacking can be carried out for a number of reasons, with terrorism, intellectual property theft and monetary benefits all listed in the KPMG report.

Mr Marshall believes that the threat will only continue to increase as the years pass, with cyber attacks becoming more common and national security put at risk regularly.

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