August 27, 2015 By Shane Schick 2 min read

Despite the benefits, many large enterprises have been extremely worried about the security risk of moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud. But researchers say it’s only 1 percent of employees who represent 75 percent of the potential danger.

In its “Q3 2015 Cybersecurity Report,” a study that examined the behavior of some 10 million people, security vendor CloudLock found that the 1 percent — not to be confused with the extremely wealthy portion of the population targeted by the Occupy movement — cause one security risk after another. This includes using cloud-based software that isn’t authorized by an IT department, sharing their passwords and other files and falling victim to phishing schemes that lead to malware infections on corporate machines.

Unfortunately, it may be difficult to pinpoint who the 1 percent are in any given organization. As CSO Online reported, they could be anyone from senior management to support staff, and a security risk could be triggered by different people at different times. The main point, given the fact that many organizations feel they don’t have enough resources to address all threats, is that they can probably minimize them by focusing on a subset of their entire personnel.

The other main takeaway, CloudLock told BetaNews, is that the greatest security risk involves people rather than technology. The better an organization understands how its staff members behave — particularly those with high clearance or other access privileges — the better they’ll be able to contain dangers posed by the 1 percent who lead to most of the problems.

One way to start, CloudTech suggested, is by enlisting those same people as participants in a data protection strategy. This may sound like common sense, but giving a small concentration of individuals access to or control over the majority of corporate files may be a bigger security risk than failing to update IT equipment or patch software programs.

Of course, this doesn’t mean defending against cloud-related breaches is purely an HR issue. ZDNet recently published details from a study by market research firm Forrester that showed spending on products to minimize security risk is expected to reach $2 billion by 2020. This combination of products and people is essential to strong cybersecurity.

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