IT Security: How to Deal With The Insider Threat | Hacker Noon

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A well-known cloud hosting company became a victim of data breaches in 2019. The hacker obtained more than 100 million customer accounts and credit applications through a badly built firewall. While no guarantees or credit card numbers have been compromised, the company’s reputation and customer trust have had a negative impact.

This was not an isolated incident. A study by the Wall Street Journal found that almost 70% of companies admitted concern about violent employees! While workers continue to be a major security risk in these cyberattacks, traditional security measures may not be sufficient to mitigate those cyber threats.

Shocking to hear, right?

Organizations often ignore ‘internal threats’, but these are the main contributors to cyberattacks today. Different studies have shown that employees, contractors, and trusted entrepreneurs could be the internal threats or used for accessing the network of the organization with ease.

Internal intimidation is conducted by a person who has authorized access to your organization’s critical programs or information. This person endangers the security of the organization by abusing authorized access.

An internal threat does not have to be the person who is active or involved in your organization. There is a chance of a former board member or employee whose access to the sensitive information of your organization is still intact. Different types of possible internal threats existing in an organization could be the Oblivious Insider, Negligent Insider, Malicious Insider, and Professional Insider.

How Can You Get Rid of Internal Threats?

The vulnerability of the people has led to emerging cyberattacks. Organizations are contributing to the suffering of big data breaches and are experiencing undisclosed financial losses. In line with the 2020 cost of the Insider Threats Global Report, the total number of internal threats is growing rapidly. There was a 31% rise in the cost of a cyberattack, which rose from $8.76 million in 2018 to $11.45 million in 2020.

Internal threats are hidden everywhere you look today and can be a disaster for businesses if they are not addressed. CISOs and CIOs of organizations should consider these cyber threats and should train their internal staff. In fact, every IT security officer should consider internal security as a ‘need for an hour’ in the current state of remote operation.

Organizations should start implementing comprehensive internal protection programs and should adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Educate staff about a safety awareness tool that provides simulated cyber attacks for real-life training.
  2. Identify and report suspicious activity or behavior indicating that the employee may be a major internal risk.
  3. Keep data protected by providing limited access to confidential information.
  4. Regularly update and maintain a list of user access rights.
  5. Considering complex and strong passwords for accounts.
  6. Establish and manage the basics of data access ethics to detect unusual and potentially dangerous activities.
  7. In order to prevent cyber threats like phishing, DDoS attacks, etc., update the vulnerabilities and combine them together from time to time.

Internal threats can be difficult to detect and very difficult to prevent from damaging the organization. However, by using and implementing security measures, the organization can remain safe. Educating employees about the importance of data security is of equally important along with appropriate security solutions and tools. They need to be trained on following procedures and policies in order to reduce existing internal threats.

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