Data Theft Rising Sharply, Insider Threats Cited as Leading Cause

New Ponemon Institute Report Finds Most Employees Have Too Much Access, Multiplying Damage When Accounts Are Compromised

Read the full report:
Closing Security Gaps to Protect Corporate Data

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76% of IT Professionals say their organization experienced the loss or theft of company data over the past two years – and the leading cause is insider negligence.

About the Report

Three out of every four organizations have been hit by the loss or theft of important data over the past two years, a sharp increase since 2014, according to a new survey of more than 3,000 employees and IT practitioners across the U.S. and Europe.

The survey report conducted by the Ponemon Institute, “Closing Security Gaps to Protect Corporate Data: A Study of U.S. and European Organizations” resulted from interviews conducted in 2016, with 3,027 employees in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany – from a variety of industries including financial services, public sector, healthcare and life sciences, retail, industrial, and technology and software.


62% percent of end users say they have access to company data they probably shouldn’t see.

Only 29% of IT respondents say their companies fully enforce a strict least privilege model to ensure insiders have access to company data only on a need to know basis.


35% of organizations have no searchable records of file system activity, leaving them unable to determine which files have been encrypted by ransomware.

Only 25% of organizations monitor all employee and third-party email and file activity, while 38% do not monitor any file and email activity.