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[South Africa] Companies acknowledge inadequate budgets to address the root cause of breaches, J2 Software survey

[South Africa] Companies acknowledge inadequate budgets to address the root cause of breaches, J2 Software survey

J2 Software, a DTEX Systems partner, has emphasised the inadequacy of current cybersecurity budgets in addressing the core cause of data breaches: insider risks. A recent survey revealed that 58% of organisations believe their budgets allocated to manage insider risks are insufficient to effectively mitigate the increasing costs and frequency of security incidents instigated by individuals within the organisation. 

DTEX Systems, the global leader for insider risk management, in collaboration with the Ponemon Institute, recently unveiled the 2023 Cost of Insider Risks Global Report. This independent study disclosed a staggering 40% rise over four years in the average annual cost of insider risks, now totalling $16.2 million. Concurrently, the average duration to contain an insider incident has surged to 86 days. 

J2 Software CEO John Mc Loughlin says in addition to scrutinising the financial implications of insider security incidents, this year's study sheds light on how organisations are funding their insider risk programs.

 “The research highlights that nearly half (46%) of organisations are planning to bolster their investment in insider risk programs in 2024. “Moreover, an overwhelming 77% of organisations have either initiated or are in the process of implementing an insider risk program,” he explains.

DTEX Systems CTO Rajan Koo says they are encouraged that organisations plan to increase investments in insider risk programs because it’s required by customers and new industry regulations – not just because of previous incidents. "This is a significant change that portends long-overdue attention and prioritisation."

This momentum in insider risk management occurs amidst escalating costs, frequency, and containment timelines for insider-related security incidents.

As defined by research analyst Gartner, insider risk management encompasses "the tools and capabilities to measure, detect and contain undesirable behaviour of trusted accounts within the organisation."

Mc Loughlin adds “Despite the rising costs associated with insider risks, a substantial 88% of organisations allocate less than 10% of their total IT security budget towards managing these internal threats. Shockingly, organisations boast an IT security budget averaging $2,437 per employee, with a mere 8.2% ($200 per employee) designated specifically for insider risk programs and policies.”

Koo emphasised that these findings underscore a diversion of budgets towards reactive "symptom management" despite mounting evidence that the root cause lies within the human factor, represented by insider risks.

"The findings illuminate that insiders, manifesting as insider risks, are the primary cause of data breaches, including those stemming from social engineering. This highlights a pervasive misunderstanding of the various forms of insider risks and the failure to proactively safeguard customer data and intellectual property," he added.

The 2023 Cost of Insider Risks Global Report offers a comprehensive analysis to comprehend the financial ramifications of insider risks, stemming from either negligent or inadvertent employees, outsmarted employees (including insider incidents linked to credential theft), or malicious insiders.

The study drew insights from 1,075 security or line of business practitioners in 309 organisations across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr. Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder of the Ponemon Institute said “Our goal in conducting this research is to create awareness of the significant costs incurred when employees are negligent, outsmarted or malicious in the handling of an organisation’s sensitive data.”

“We believe this study is unique because it analyses the costs based on the type of insider, the time it takes to contain the incident and the technologies that are most effective in reducing the costs. Such information is beneficial in creating a strategy to deal more effectively with the insider risk while reducing the costs.”







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