The global interconnection of different elements on the Internet has made insider threat to organization data a reality. Most often, the insider threat scenario may not even involve having direct access to the computer system or network in question. However, the person may take advantage of compromised user credentials or gain accidental access to a backdoor in the system.
By themselves, insider threats are pretty difficult to spot. A layered data defense strategy may include policies, procedures and technical controls to enable a comprehensive data security protocol.
But no amount of network protocols that set up the organization’s network security can help if the breach occurs through the means of valid and legitimate credentials, making any component of a layered defense strategy useless during this a compromise.
Distinguishing between the insider threat and the regular employee is an extremely difficult problem to identify and solve. It becomes even more challenging to solve the dilemma when data breach incidents involve the use of valid user credentials or usernames and passwords that are authorized. Since many employees use the same user and password credentials for their online activities, gaining access to their work data may not be so difficult by the insider threat. And, when these elements are compromised on a more than regular basis, then people should take notice. For instance, web based email clients (e.g. Hotmail) were recently hacked into and thousands of credentials belonging to users from around the world fell into the hands of hackers and other unauthorized people.
The credentials that people most often use are closely linked to their personal lives. Dates, events, names, and relationship factor much of the usual user I.D and password combinations. To make it worse, most of these credentials are then reused across multiple online and enterprise networks. Many would prefer to ignore this fact, but the situation is more rampant than one would like to admit. This, and the many new avenues that exist or will soon exist as potential playgrounds for hackers and intruders, the next breed of data theft and insider threat is emerging.
Some of the many actions that can be taken by the insider threat may go beyond simple file changes or drive deletions. The insider threat may now become capable of using your system to seriously harm you or your organization. From changing distribution orders to manipulating business numbers to harm your shareholders, are only some of the basic examples of how an insider threat can seriously damage your reputation.
A comprehensive security system is the key to making sure that data stays protected at all times. This means the capability to control unwanted and unauthorized external devices, protect data from leaking through active password protection of data on computers, prevent data loss with multi-layer patent-pending protection that even works on Windows, prevent access by all external storage devices including USB drives, digi-cams, memory cards, maximize data protection through a DLP & copy protection software that ensures complete privacy of your sensitive data, and monitor any hack attempts and access through comprehensive logs & reports that monitors and reports on activities from all devices.
Using access control software to limit the use of external devices to only authorized units will enable your organization to monitor and control all events that could otherwise lead to loss of reputation, resources, costs, business elements that, if go unmanaged, could lead to an inevitable natural demise of the system.
Example: Insider Threat Scenario
An example of an insider threat is when a current or former employee uses their access to an organization’s systems or data to steal or misuse confidential information or to damage the organization’s reputation.
Preventive Measures For Insider Threats
Insider threats can be prevented by implementing strong access control measures, such as requiring users to authenticate themselves with multiple factors of authentication, implementing role-based access control, and monitoring user activity for suspicious activity. Additionally, companies can also put in place policies and procedures that limit the amount and type of information
Examples: Intentional Threats
Intentional threats examples include:
• Malicious insider attacks, such as stealing confidential information, introducing malware, or sabotaging systems
• Unauthorized access to systems, networks, and data
• Social engineering attacks, such as phishing or impersonating other users
• Unauthorized physical access to systems and data
• Intentionally introducing vulnerabilities into systems
• Insider trading or fraud
• Data leakage or misuse
Types Of Insider Threats
1. Malicious insider threat – This type of threat occurs when an individual with authorized access to a system or network uses that access to intentionally harm the organization. Examples include stealing confidential information, introducing malware, or sabotaging systems.
2. Accidental insider threat – This type of threat occurs when an individual with authorized access to a system or network unintentionally causes harm to the organization. Examples include unintentionally introducing vulnerabilities into systems, misusing data, or accidentally leaking confidential information.
Most Common Insider Threat
The most common insider threat is accidental insider threat. Examples of accidental insider threats include unintentionally introducing vulnerabilities into systems, misusing data, or accidentally leaking confidential information.
Examples Of Threats
1. Malware: Malware is malicious software that is designed to damage or disable computers and computer systems.
2. Phishing: Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that uses deceptive emails or websites to trick users into revealing sensitive information.
3. Social engineering: Social engineering is a type of attack that uses deception to manipulate users into providing confidential information or granting access to restricted systems.
4. Data leakage: Data leakage is when confidential or sensitive data is unintentionally exposed or leaked. It can occur when data is sent via unencrypted channels, stored on insecure systems, or shared with unauthorized third parties.
Components Of The Threat Scenario
1. Attacker: This is the individual or group of individuals responsible for carrying out the attack.
2. Target: This is the system, device, or data that the attacker is targeting.
3. Vulnerability: This is the weakness or flaw in the system, device, or data that the attacker is exploiting.
Ways To Prevent Insider Trading
1. Establish clear policies and procedures regarding insider trading and make sure all employees are aware of them.
2. Implement a code of conduct that outlines the consequences of insider trading.
3. Monitor trading activity and investigate any suspicious activity.
4. Establish systems to detect and prevent insider trading.
5. Educate employees on the importance of compliance with insider trading laws.
6. Utilize technology to monitor and detect insider trading.
7. Implement a system of internal controls to ensure compliance with insider trading laws.
8. Establish a reporting system to report any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.
9. Provide regular training and updates to employees on insider trading laws and regulations.
10. Monitor any changes in the law and ensure compliance with them.
Major Motivators For Insider Threats
1. Financial gain: Insider threats are often motivated by the potential of making a quick profit by exploiting confidential information.
2. Revenge: Insider threats may be motivated by a desire to exact revenge on an employer or organization.
3. Curiosity: Insider threats may be motivated by a desire to explore and gain access to confidential information.