Total IT management is not only about monitoring the activities of cybercriminals, viruses, and malware and how they affect the growth of your organization. It is an all-encompassing concept. Have you ever considered internal threats in an organization more severe than external ones?
It is easier to manage external threats because the actors operate from a distance. On the contrary, internal threats are masterminded by individuals who understand the organization’s process, vulnerabilities, and defense mechanisms. This set of individuals has access to the organization’s data and systems to complicate the situation.
In the 2021 Insider’s Threat Report, 98% of the organizations surveyed admitted they feel vulnerable to internal attacks. With the number of insider threats recorded in 2021, it is no longer news that internal threats are increasing daily. Unfortunately, many organizations do not have the workforce to control these threats. According to the report, 50% of the affected organizations won’t detect insider threat until it has occurred.
In this article, we’ll examine what insider threats mean, the indicators, and how to protect the interest of the organization.
What is an Insider Threat?
Just like the name implies, insider threats are a security issue introduced by people within the organization or someone with access to their login credentials. These insiders in the organization can be anyone, such as present employees, past employees, contractors, and business partners. The individuals use their authorized access to bring damage to the organization’s department, facilities, or resources. The organization must have bestowed some level of trust on such an individual.
What are the Indicators of Insider Threats?
Insider threats are very different from external threats. It is usually easier to identify an external threat than an internal one. This is because an insider has legitimate access to your systems via their login credentials, rather than being an outsider trying to breach the account. Even with security systems, it is not easy to differentiate between normal and evil activities in the organization. But, the good news is that tell-tale signs indicate malicious activity. Some of them are:
The behavior of the individual
Sometimes, people that want to carry out a malicious activity are betrayed by their behavior. Thus, when an employee starts becoming unenthusiastic, unmotivated, and dissatisfied with the organization’s activities, it could be a sign that such an employee has malicious intent. Another behavioral indicator could be when the employee discusses other job opportunities or shows resentment towards others in the organization.
Many employees make use of the internet for various activities. Finding out their purpose or actions when they use the internet space could get very confusing. Monitoring for anomalous behavior plays an important part in identifying threats in the system before they can cause any damage. Some examples include downloading a large number of files, emailing the company’s information to an external individual, or attempting to access data or resources without permission.
Organizations must take notice of these factors and monitor employees closely to avoid exposing the company’s information to the wrong individuals.
Essential Tactics To Mitigate Insider Threats
It is established that organizations may not be able to monitor and control employees’ activities even when cybersecurity measures are in place. Fortunately, helpful tips are essential for reducing insider threats in an organization. Some of which include:
- Enact policies: There should be organizational policies and procedures that must clarify the roles and responsibilities of employees in the organization. It must also specify the organization’s security policies and how documents are shared.
- Zero trust: The severity of the issue does not permit excuses. Everyone in the organization, including top executives, must be authenticated and validated before they gain access to the company’s network. This way, only authorized users will access critical information that concerns the organization.
- Train employees: Employees in the organization must be trained. Cybersecurity programs are essential for employees to understand the implication of any laxity in security measures. It is also critical to teach employees to spot phishing emails. Of course, humans are bound to make mistakes. But, when employees are properly guided, they will become intentional about employing only the best practices to enforce security.
- Secure critical assets: The critical assets of the organization include data, systems, intellectual property, and software. This information is to be protected because it reflects much about what the organization represents. As such, if they get into the wrong hands, they may be used to wreak havoc in the organization. Thus, any critical asset of an organization must be prioritized and kept safe.
Safeguard Your Network
Insider threats are not an issue experienced only by specific organizations. Every organization, no matter the size, is vulnerable to this attack.
The only way to stay safe is to mitigate data loss, which can cause significant loss to the organization. You can protect your network from these insider threats by contacting us at (303) 292-4934 or visiting our website for further information.