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Concerns continue to mount over the amount of employees who have access to data and how much of a threat they present.

The backdrop for that concern ended up buttressed in a new report that found 93 percent of U.S. organizations believe they are vulnerable to insider threats, said researchers at data security specialist Vormetric in its latest Insider Threat Report.

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Among other issues are 59 percent of respondents in the U.S. believe privileged users pose the biggest threat to their organization, and preventing a data breach is the highest or second highest priority for IT security spending, said 54 percent of respondents.

The cloud comes under scrutiny too with 46 percent of U.S. respondents believing they present the greatest risk for loss of sensitive data in their organization. However, 47 percent believe databases have the greatest amount of sensitive data at risk.

Cyber Security

Businesses are subject to pressure from attacks and security breaches, too. 44 percent said their organization experienced a data breach or failed a compliance audit in the last year and 34 percent said their organizations are protecting sensitive data because of a breach at a partner or a competitor.

“As the past year demonstrates, these threats are real and need to be addressed,” said Alan Kessler, Vormetric chief executive. “Organizations wishing to protect themselves must do more than take a data-centric approach; they must take a data-first approach. Although we are heartened that 92 percent of organizations plan to maintain or increase their security spending in the coming year, our larger concern is about how they plan to spend that money. The results indicate there is still disagreement about where corporate data, which is most at risk, actually resides. Our experience, observations and conversations with customers have taught us that even if the situation isn’t entirely black and white, organizations’ use of encryption, access controls and data access monitoring greatly reduce their risk and exposure.”

The problem isn’t limited to the U.S. either, 55 percent of global respondents believe privileged users are the biggest threat. Also 54 percent said they will be increasing spending to offset the threat in the coming year.

Click here to download the full report.

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