Report finds finance and HR departments the greatest cybersecurity threats to organisations

By Cameron Abbott and Melanie Long

According to recent research conducted on behalf of cybersecurity firm Clearswift, finance and HR departments represent the biggest cybersecurity threat to organisations. The study polled more than 4500 information technology decision makers, security professionals and employees in the US, UK, Germany and Australia and found that 46% of respondents believed that finance departments posed a security threat to their organisation. In addition, 42% of respondents believed the same of an organisation’s HR departments.

Other notable statistics to come out of the research include:

  • 33% of respondents believed middle management presented the biggest security threat (compared to 19% for senior management and 16% for executives)
  • 79% of respondents believed that male employees are more likely to cause a breach than female employees
  • 69% of respondents believed office-based employees were more likely to cause a breach than those working remotely
  • 28% of respondents believed that those aged 35-44 were most likely to be behind malicious data theft
  • 88% of companies questioned had experienced a security incident in the past 12 months, of which 73% were from people known to the company including employees, past employees, customers and suppliers.

Clearswift CEO, Heath Davis, said of the study’s findings: “we’re not proposing targeting individuals, but if you can understand the combination of factors that make certain people in certain roles more of a risk, you can focus your resources on ensuring those breaches don’t happen.”

Articles published by Clearswift outlining the findings from the study can be found here and here.

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