An Insider threat is a malicious threat to an organization that comes from people within the organization such as a business partner or an associate, anyone who is authenticated by the system. Any person with privileged knowledge of internal systems can be considered an insider. The insider threat isn’t necessarily a worker individual or stakeholder rather it can be either a former employee or a member who still has access to your organization’s credentials or sensitive information.
Types of Insider threat:
- Malicious insider: An insider who intentionally abuses legitimate credentials maliciously to steal
information for financial or personal gains. For example, an individual who dislikes the employer
can sell secret information to an outsider. They could be an asset to competitors.
- Compromised insider: An insider whose account credentials have been harvested and unintentionally grants access to an attacker to confidential information.
For example, an attacker can
target a compromised insider by harvesting his login credentials through social engineering and then
accesses confidential assets, which can result in the theft of an organization’s intellectual property
(IP) or other personably identifiable information (PII). Social engineering is a technique representing
malicious activities that are targeted through human interactions to either inject malware or retrieve
sensitive information. It applies psychological manipulation to trap users making security mistakes or
overlook associated risks. Such attacks are quite lethal and undetectable, as the attacker uses legitimate
credentials of a user who is authorized.
- Careless insider: This category of insiders includes people who make the most common
mistakes and generally do not pay significant attention to the security practices of the organization.
An insider in this category unintentionally exposes the key resources to the
outsiders. For example, a receptionist employee
can click on suspicious links unknowingly , which leads to outsiders to getting access to the system or key resources.
Protection from Insider threats:
Organizations should start following these guidelines to protect themselves from insider threats.
- Educate employees with a security awareness training tool that in a simulated real-life experience training.
- Identify and report suspicious activities or behaviors indicating an employee to be a probable insider threat.
- Keep data secured by granting limited access permission to confidential information.
- Regularly update and maintain user access privileges list.
- Consider using complex and strong passwords for accounts.
- Patch all vulnerabilities with the latest updates from time to time to prevent cyber threats like SQL injection attacks, DDoS attacks, etc.