Specifically, this generalization was based on the following five factors in 2023 data:

  • Privileged users posed the highest-risk: Employees with access to sensitive data, such as HR and finance professionals, were cited by 63% of customers surveyed as contributing the greatest risk of data loss.
  • Careless users were another major cause: 71% of employees surveyed in organizations that experienced the equivalent of more than one incident per month (a mean of 15 data loss incidents per organization in the past year) cited careless users as a main cause.
  • Departing employees were the third riskiest user category: 87% of anomalous file exfiltration among cloud tenants over a nine-month period was caused by departing employees.
  • Generative AI was the fastest growing area of concern: Tools such as ChatGPT, Grammarly, Bing Chat and Google Gemini were increasing in power and utility, and more users in the protection ecosystem were inputting sensitive data into these applications.
  • Organizations’ data loss prevention (DLP) programs were being expanded: While many programs were initially implemented in response to legal regulations, more than 50% of the employees of customer organizations surveyed cited protection of customer and employee privacy as the primary driver of increasing vigilance of data loss prevention.