When we think of the insider threat, we often resort to the imaginary “cloak-and-dagger” type of villain who infiltrates the headquarters of MI6 to steal data from 007’s personal files. While this makes for a captivating plot for a movie, it often ignores the subtlety involved in high-level data breaches and nation-state-sponsored attacks.
Despite this lack of visual flair in real-world cyberattacks, the risk of malicious insiders accessing your data is genuine.
Cybersecurity professionals work tirelessly to create paradigms and digital frameworks that monitor, detect and prevent would-be villains from accessing your data.
Here’s what you need to know about insider threat detection, monitoring, and prevention.
What is An Insider Threat?
Before getting into the insider threat definition, let’s look at the difference between a malicious insider and the risk of unintentional employee behavior.
Example of unintentional employee-caused damage:
Unintentional Steve is a systems administrator who loves to stay updated with his favorite teams’ latest sports news and scores. Knowing his business has a strict bring your own device (BYOD) policy that blocks his favorite sports-themed domains, he decides to sneak in a laptop from home.
A few months later, he notices a large portion of the network has fallen victim to a ransomware attack. After a detailed examination of the events, something becomes clear: the attacker gained remote access to Steve’s laptop and pivoted into the network with ease. Although you may be fuming at Steve’s lack of communication with his superiors, his intentions weren’t malicious, just short-sighted.
Example of a malicious insider:
Now here’s another example. Malicious Sarah was hired recently by a company to incorporate new standards and policies to improve its security posture. After a few months, the chief information security officer notices something odd: almost all employees within the development team have had their accounts hacked and stolen from under their noses.
Upon investigation, the incident response team finds an overlooked anomaly in the network: a rogue access point named “development team.” Thinking the access point to be legitimate, the engineers eagerly logged into the network and continued business as usual.
Little did they know, Sarah – who was disgruntled due to being passed over for a promotion – was downgrading their network activity into unencrypted requests to capture their login credentials in cleartext. From here, Sarah distributed the harvested login credentials to her fellow blackhat hackers so they could log in and attempt to perform a massive ransomware attack.
Both of these rudimentary examples may be regarded as insider threats. Although there is a noticeable difference between a malicious threat and someone who needs to address their addiction to sports highlights, both outcomes could potentially cost the company millions of dollars.
So what is an insider threat?
Someone in your organization who wishes to cause damage, harm, steal sensitive data, or presents unintentional risks to your company’s data.
Partners, employees, and collaborators can all present potential risks. Therefore, maintaining control of your data is vital for a strong security posture.
Insider Threat Detection, Monitoring, and Prevention
To address this problem, organizations utilize insider threat detection policies to monitor, scan, and analyze data flow in their networks to detect suspicious behavior.
These systems allow cybersecurity professionals to react and monitor suspicious activity in real-time. But before a software suite can perform its job adequately, business owners and corporate entities need to instill a culture of “best ideals” inside the minds of their workforce. As the old cliche goes, “you can’t build a great building without a sturdy foundation.” In the same regard, here are a few insider threat best practices that every organization should implement immediately:
- Mantraps to block unauthorized access to the property
- Multi-factor authentication for all employees
- Biometric measures to prevent impersonation
- Physical security around the building
- Organization-wide risk assessments
- Deactivating unused accounts
- Complex password policies
With these insider threat best practices in place, your organization has a greater chance of remaining breach-free in 2021 and beyond. Remember this: the weakest link within an organization’s security system could be its employees, not the technology!
Let’s see how BeyondDLP™ can help you to monitor your scattered data and prevent harmful data breaches.
The Ultimate Cybersecurity Best Practice: Going Beyond Conventional Data Protection with BeyondDLP™
With BeyondDLP™, you have a comprehensive toolset that allows you to monitor, track, target, and block potential risks before they cause severe damage.
Track your sensitive data anywhere with ITsMine’s unique technology. Our unparalleled FileGPS™ technology allows you to track, log and monitor your documents and data in real-time. Whether the data moves around your network or onto an external server, you can track who is accessing your data. As soon as ITsMine detects malicious activity, it isolates the incident and notifies the system, preventing the attack or further ransomware attempts.
SoftwareMines™ are another powerful tool that prevent data breaches by detecting abnormal use of company data, whether from external attackers or insider threats (both malicious and unintentional).
Data Never Sleeps – Keep Your Data Actively Protected
Whether you’re a CISO who needs to implement policies that address evolving enterprise cybersecurity attack vectors, or a small consultant working with local businesses – ITsMine’s BeyondDLP™ can help you track, control, and eliminate threats to your data and empower teams to collaborate effectively and safely.
With ITsMine, you can rest assured that your data is safe, tracked, and protected; constantly.