Many organizations are now changing their working culture, allowing many workers to stay anywhere in the world to work. Working means creating and sharing data, and some of the working ethics of employees might make room for insider threats.
In this article, you will learn a well-detailed explanation of insider threats, the major categories of this type of cyber security issue, and prevention techniques.
Understanding Insider Threats
The world and the workplace are changing, as many companies and organizations are now integrating new working conditions that they haven’t used in the past. For instance, many organizations now allow most employees to work from home and access company applications directly from the comfort of their homes. Cybercriminals have identified this new trend and are trying to maximize the opportunity by causing insider threats in an organization.
So, insider threats mean cyber-attacks mainly propagated by someone in an organization with full and authorized access to work there. Insider threats can happen with the full knowledge of the person working for an organization, or they can unknowingly give cyber attackers access to sensitive data and resources. The changes in working conditions make it possible for employees to easily gain access to company apps and services from their homes. So if cyber attackers can access their private and organization credentials, it would help them propagate a serious attack on an organization.
When employees are mentioned in insider threats, many people can be involved in this behavior. People with authorized access to a company’s data and IT infrastructure, senior executives, business partners, and even third-party associates can successfully cause insider threats. Nevertheless, one sure thing is that insider threats can either be done intentionally or unintentionally. One of the first steps to mitigation is to prevent risk to your data with a browser security tool, including monitoring and policy enforcing mechanisms.
Types of Insider Threats You Should Know
Collaborative/Recruited Insider Threats
Many people with legitimate access to an organization’s data know they can sell these data and make huge amounts of money from cybercriminals that need such data. So they now make themselves available for cybercriminals, who recruit and pay them to provide access to this organization’s data. An outsider would carry out the main attack, but these attackers would be given access after they might have paid the insider. Recruited insider threats are often agreed upon at the darker parts of the web, where employees make themselves available for such tasks.
Since many organizations now allow their employees to work directly from their homes or any other place, they have to do many things to prevent things like this from happening. First, they should ensure endpoint monitoring and real-time alerts to inform them when an insider is sharing information. Educating employees and partners about the deficits of careless behavior while using the internet should be encouraged.
When an organization or employees compromise their data, it can lead to a massive insider threat, allowing cyber attackers to steal large amounts of data and resources. A scenario that illustrates how compromised data works is when an employee tries to work through a public network like Wi-Fi. When working through a public internet network, a cyber attacker can stage an attack whenever an employee shares data through the public internet connection.
To mitigate this type of insider threat, employees should be warned about the dangers of using public network connections to work. An organization should also ensure that there’s multi-factor authentication available to prevent cyber attackers from accessing data even when they get access to passwords.
Unintentional/Accidental Insider Threats
Accidental insider threats happen without the employees having any real intention of putting the company’s data at risk. Unintentional insider threats mostly happen because employees or those accessing an organization’s data lack or disregard the necessary cyber security procedures while handling data.
These mistakes mostly happen while handling the day-to-day activities in an organization, and it comes off as unintentional. Some examples that can buttress accidental insider threats are when an employee loses a device containing important data, sends information to the wrong recipient, or falls victim to a social engineering attack.
It has become very obvious that human error is the major contributor to accidental insider threats. So an organization must put some policies in place to ensure that an employee does not give cybercriminals access to data due to their carelessness. Education and training are also important, as employees must be taught how to properly use certain applications and office behaviors that prevent insider threats.
Negligence Insider Threat
Negligence insider threat is when an employee disregards or ignores some of the rules guiding an organization’s workspace and ends up putting their data at risk. This time around, it did not happen by accident, just that the workers were negligent to the rules guiding the office. An example is that an employee within the organization might try to use an unapproved SaaS application and put the organization at a security risk.
Since negligence is not due to lack of knowledge or accident, organizations must implement several policy enforcement elements to make employees obey rules. LayerX is one of the best-poised security solutions allowing an organization to create a browser policy and enforce such policies.
Insider threats have caused much damage to an organization, making them pay heavy fines for compromising customers’ data and sometimes putting them behind their competitors. The major types of insider threats are the one that happens accidentally and intentionally, compromised credentials, and negligence insider threat.