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Nearly half of organisations are not ready to defend against malicious insiders within their firms, according to a new report.

A survey by security firm Mimecast found that 45 per cent of organisations are ill-equipped to cope with the threat of malicious insiders, making them their own worst enemies.

Meanwhile, 90 per cent said malicious insiders are a major threat to their organisations’ security, meaning rogue workers are a worry even for those who are better prepared.

A previous report found that 65 per cent of IT security decision makers feel their email systems are inadequately equipped to handle cyber threats, and the researchers said the new figures show that malicious insiders are a major source of this risk.

“Organisations of all sizes struggle with the risks that are posed by employees being targeted by adversaries to launch and execute attacks to gain access to data or funds” said Peter Bauer, Mimecast’s CEO. “Every day, we trust employees with sensitive information and powerful tools, but we don’t give them the effective security education and advanced cloud security solutions that go hand-in-hand with those responsibilities.”

53 per cent of the organisations surveyed said they view malicious insiders as a moderate or high threat to their organisations, and one in seven view them as their number one threat.

Security preparedness seems to be irrelevant when it comes to insider threats, with well-equipped businesses just as concerned as those who are more vulnerable in general.

“Another issue we can work together to control is rogue employees who use file sharing or cloud storage services to steal valuable corporate data – also known as malicious insiders,” Bauer said. “IT managers have, for too long, not paid due attention to this threat.”

He added that firms must act quickly to install protections and re-evaluate restricted access to these services in order to ensure their data is secure.

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