What is Insider Threat ?

What is Insider Threat ? – An Insider is any employee (trusted person or persons) having access to critical assets of an organizations.

An insider attack involves using privileged access to intentionally violate rules or cause threat to the organization’s information or information systems in any form.

What is Insider Threat ?

Insider attacks are generally performed by privileged user, disgruntled employee, terminated employee, accident prone employee, third party undertrained staff, etc.

An insider is any employee (trusted person) having access to critical assets of an organization. An insider attack involves using privileged access to violate rules or intentionally cause a threat to the organization’s information systems.

Insiders can easily bypass security rules, corrupt valuable resources, and access sensitive information. It is difficult to figure out an insider attack. Insider attacks may also cause great loss to the company. About 60% of attacks occur from behind the firewall. it is easier to launch an insider attack, and preventing such attacks is difficult.

What is Insider Threat ?

Insider attacks are generally performed by:

  • Previleged Users
    • Attacks may come from most trusted employees of the company such as managers, system administrators, who have access to company’s confidential data, with a higher probability to misusing the data, either intentionally or unintentioanlly.
  • Disgruntled Employees:
    • Attacks may come from unhappy employees or contract workers. Digruntled employees, who intend to take revenge on their company, first acquire information, and then wait for the right time to compromise the organization’s resources.
  • Terminated Employees
    • Some employees take valuable information about the company with them when terminated. these employees access company’s data even after termination using backdoors, malware, or their old crendentials because they are not disabled.
  • Accident-Prone Employees:
    • Accidentaly if an employee has lost his device or an email is send to incorrect recipients or system loaded with confidential data is left logged-in, leads to unintentional data disclosure.
  • Third Parties
    • Third parties like remote employees, partners, dealers, vendors, etc. have access to company’s information. Security of the systems used by them and about the persons accessing company’s information is unpredictable.
  • Undertrained Staff
    • A trusted employee becomes an unintentional insider due to lack of cyber security training. He/she fails to adhere to cyber security policies, procedures, guidlines, and best practices.

Companies where insider attacks are common include credit card companies, health-care companies, network service providers, as well as financial and exchange service providers.

What is Insider Threat ?

Reasons for Insider Attacks

  • Financial Gain
    • An attacker performs insider threat mainely for financial gain. The insider sells sensitive information of the company to its competitor, steals a colleague’s financial details for personal use, or manipulates companies or personnel financial records.
  • Steal Confidential Data
    • A competitor may inflict damage to the target organizations, steal critical information, or put them out of business, by just finding a job opening, preparing someone to get through the interview, and having that person hired by the competitor.
  • Revenge
    • It takes only one disgruntled person to take revenge and your company is compromised. Attacks may come from unhappy employees or contract workers with negative opinions about the company.
  • Becomes Future Competitor
    • Current employees may plan to start their own competing business and by using company’s confidentail data. These employees may access and alter company’s clients list.
  • Perform Competitors Bidding
    • Due to corporate espionage, even the most honest and trustworthy employees are forced to reveal company’s critical information by offering them bribery or through blackmailing.
  • Public Announcement
    • A disgruntled employee may want to announce a political or social statement and leak or damage company’s confidential data.

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