When we think of the insider threat, we often resort to the imaginary, cloak-and-dagger 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 behaviour.
Example of unintentional employee-caused damage:
Unintentional Steve is a systems administrator who loves to stay updated with his favourite teams’ latest sports news and scores. Knowing his business has a strict bring your own device (BYOD) policy that blocks his favourite 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:
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 clear text. 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.
Insider threat detection, monitoring and prevention
To address this problem, organisations utilise insider threat detection policies to monitor, scan and analyse data flow in their networks to detect suspicious behaviour.
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 instil 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 insiders threat best practices that every organisation should implement immediately:
- Mantraps to block unauthorised access to the property
- Multi-factor authentication for all employees
- Biometric measures to prevent impersonation
- Physical security around the building
- Organisation-wide risk assessments
- Deactivating unused accounts
- Complex password policies
Remember this: the weakest link within an organisation’s security system could be its employees, not the technology.
Let’s see how Agentless 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 Agentless BeyondDLP
With Agentless 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. The 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 prevents 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 chief information security officer who needs to implement policies that address evolving enterprise cybersecurity attack vectors, a consultant working with local businesses, or a cybersecurity solutions provider – ItsMine Agentless 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.
Maxtec is proud to distribute ItsMine solutions through its partner network. For more information, a free trial or a demonstration, please reach out to us on email@example.com or call 011 803 6635.
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