Identification of Insider Threats

Defying the enemy within

As the wave of digitization sweeps across the nation, it is terribly crucial for the organizations, irrespective of large or small, to take adequate security measures for protecting their huge amount of data generated every day from various sources. The CISOs, CTOs and CSOs are ceaselessly on their toes to curb the chances of any hack or data breach incident that might push them towards big irrevocable losses. This scenario of insider threats is considered to be one of the most sinister reasons for digital disaster.

Identification of Insider Threats

The implications of insider threats largely go to the administrators and other privileged users, who are commonly

identified as the most suitable position holders who can both suffer and carry out numerous malicious activities stealthily. Their mistakes or negligence have the most severe effects. These malefactors are normally followed by contractors, consultants or even temporary workers, whose loyalty are questioned most of the time.

Precisely, insider threats take familiar forms, but the effects are augmented because they come from within and have smooth access to the organization’s official network along with sensitive credentials. Moreover, lack of data protection strategies by the management also forces them to chalk out plans sitting within the network. The best protection however can be a strong organizational focus on network/ data security basics.

Reasons of Insider Threat/ How to reduce the chances

There are several insider threat vulnerabilities that are mostly ignored in organizations.

1. BYOD process
The abundance of BYOD/ CYOD policy inherits the risk of cyber threats. The organizations do require thoughtful and comprehensive approach towards implementation of this policy. There has to be a detailed possibility assessment of whether BYOD implementation is feasible in the organization, depending on the type of industry. The employees should be trained repeatedly to make them avoid the risks of public Wi-Fi with a VPN or hotspot, and minimize the risk of lost information by keeping confidential business files in a secured cloud and not in personal devices. In this process, privilege access management plays a key role in securing the data.

2. Recruitment
Insider threats can be tackled from the recruitment process itself. The HR leaders should have thorough background checks, and pry into the prospect’s history to assess susceptibility to bribery or unfaithfulness. This can be done by scrutinizing credit history of the candidate or any debts that could be used as leverage.

3. Lack of management visibility
It is surprising to see how few organizations have little or zero visibility when it comes to network monitoring practice. However, when it comes to insider threats, organizations normally lack the ability to be sceptical or even withstand suspicious user behaviour and file movement. While chalking out a proactive insider threat plan, the CISOs, CTOs and CSOs need to be clear about the amount of network visibility in the organization. Now there are technologies like Privilege Access Management that can establish baseline activity control for users, monitor for anomalies, or even automate relevant actions. Thus it’s just wise to take advantage of the ability to be aware of what is going on in the business network.

The sly insider threats can originate on numerous fronts, and monitoring them can be a daunting task. Meeting the challenges of information security requires stringent organization policies to cultivate values and invest in Privilege Access Management (PAM) to support that value. After all, the privileged identities hold the master-keys to an organization’s network of devices and databases.

4. Leadership
The CISOs, CTOs and CSOs mirror the security management in organizations. Their strategic decision making right on time drives the organization towards a secured network periphery. Nevertheless, securing an organization requires alertness and co-operation from the entire team and not just the CSO or CIO. Cyber security policies are often considered as barriers towards progress of any organization. Unfortunately, securing an organization against insider threats requires utter cautiousness from the entire leadership team, and not just the CSO.

In a nutshell, insider threats are one of the burning issues in the cyber world. Recently, a London law firm has confirmed that the number of High Court cases in which crucial corporate data has been stolen by ex-employees or disgruntled employees has increased by 25% annually. The malicious insiders deliberately breached customer and client databases, confidential financial information and more. The ubiquity of smart phones has made it quite simpler without raising any suspicion.

ARCON provides state-of-the-art technology aimed at mitigating information systems related risks. The company’s Privileged Identity Management / Privileged Access Management solution enables blocking unauthorized access to ‘privileged identities’, while its Secured Configuration Management solution helps to comply with Governance, Risks, and Compliance (GRC) requirements .

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