AUSTIN, Texas, July 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Employee negligence, which may be caused by multitasking and working long hours, can result in insider threats and cost companies millions of dollars each year. It can cost a U.S. company as much as $1.5 million and Germany companies €1.6 million in time wasted responding to security incidents caused by human error, according to a new survey of IT and IT security practitioners in the U.S. and Germany. The survey, commissioned by Raytheon|Websense and independently conducted by the information security industry leader Ponemon Institute, also revealed that 70 percent of U.S. survey respondents and 64 percent of German respondents report that more security incidents are caused by unintentional mistakes than intentional and/or malicious acts.
The survey report, "The Unintentional Insider Risk in United States and German Organizations," found that while there are similarities in how U.S. and German organizations perceive insider threats, there are also clear cultural differences in the causes of unintentional insider risk. German respondents are more likely to agree that their organizations do not have the necessary safeguards in place to protect against careless employees (54 percent). U.S. respondents reported that employees are not properly trained to follow data security policies (60 percent) and that senior executives do not consider data security a priority (50 percent).
"Maliciousness is tagged as the leading cause in insider threat discussions, but the impact of negligence cannot be overlooked," said Ed Hammersla, president of Raytheon|Websense. "As the Ponemon study reveals, security incidents are caused by negligence which leads to a decrease in IT productivity. Workplace stress, multitasking, long hours and a lack of resources and budget are the biggest contributors to employee negligence. Having programs in place that include a mixture of training, policy and technology are vital to addressing insider threats before they become a major issue."
Additional key findings include:
Unintentional employee negligence severely diminishes the productivity of the IT function according to 73 percent of U.S. respondents and 67 percent of German respondents.
Long hours and multitasking are red flags for risk. Multitaskers are more likely to be careless or negligent according to 79 percent of U.S. respondents and 81 percent of German respondents.
German respondents are more likely to limit practices that can create unintentional risk (55 percent), while their American counterparts prefer to monitor employees' behavior (63 percent).
In both the U.S. and Germany, IT security practitioners spend an average of almost three hours each day dealing with the security risks caused by employee mistakes or negligence.
Both German and U.S. respondents report ordinary users, contractors or third-parties pose the biggest threat to security.
Methodology The Raytheon|Websense Unintentional Insider Risk Survey was independently conducted by the Ponemon Insttute. The responses were generated from a survey sample of 1,071 IT and IT security practitioners in the U.S. and Germany.
Germany is often seen as being on the cutting edge of deploying security technology and strictly enforcing security policies. The purpose of the survey was to determine if cultural differences in the workplace would impact how German and U.S. IT security practitioners manage insider threat, and to determine if and how characteristics of negligent insiders differ between the two countries.
About the Ponemon Institute The Ponemon Institute is dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, the Institute conducts independent research, educates leaders from the private and public sectors, and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organizations in a variety of industries. For more information, visit http://www.ponemon.org.
About Raytheon|Websense On May 29, 2015, Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and Vista Equity Partners completed a joint venture transaction creating a new company that combines Websense, a Vista Equity portfolio company, and Raytheon Cyber Products, a product line of Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business. The newly-formed commercial cybersecurity company will be known on an interim basis as Raytheon|Websense. The company expects to introduce a new brand identity upon completion of standard organizational integration activity.