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Overview

Identify and eliminate insider threats before they damage your business

Whether acting out of malice or negligence, insider threats pose a significant cyber security risk to all organisations. Recent research from the Ponemon Institute suggests the average cost of insider-originated incidents is almost twice that of the average breach.

While the dangers posed by insider threats are becoming more widely recognised, not enough organisations are allocating sufficient resources to mitigate the risk they pose.

An inside attacker exfiltrating sensitive data

Insider threats

What is an insider threat?

Insider threats in cyber security are threats posed by individuals from within an organisation, such as current or former employees, contractors and partners. These individuals have the potential to misuse access to networks and assets to wittingly or unwittingly disclose, modify and delete sensitive information.

Information at risk of being compromised could include details about an organisation’s security practices, customer and employee data, login credentials and sensitive financial records. The nature of insider threats means that traditional preventative security measures are often ineffective.

Types

Types of insider threats

Insider threats in cyber security are either malicious or negligent in nature.

Malicious insider threats result from rogue employees and contractors leaking confidential data or misusing their access to systems for personal gain and/or to inflict damage and disruption. Criminal insiders may work alone or collude with external threat actors such as competitors and hacking groups.

Negligent insider threats result from inadvertent employee errors, such as users falling victim to phishing emails or sharing data on insecure devices and USB sticks. Insider threat examples include:

Second streamers
Second streamers are current employees that misuse confidential information to generate additional income through fraud, external collusion or selling trade secrets. Gartner suggests that these account for 62% of malicious insider threats.
Disgruntled employees
Disgruntled current or former employees that commit deliberate sabotage or steal intellectual property can be among the costliest threats to organisations. Gartner’s insider threat statistics suggest 29% of criminal insiders commit theft for financial gain, while 9% are driven by a desire to commit sabotage.
Inadvertent insiders
Employee negligence is one of the most common types of insider threats. Negligent employees include users who exhibit secure and compliant behaviour but make occasional errors. Many negligent employees do not realise their mistakes until it is too late.
Persistent non-responders
Some employees, often senior executives, are unresponsive to security awareness training, consistently exhibiting behaviours that could leave them vulnerable to compromise. These users are more likely to be repeatedly targeted by social engineering scams such as BEC attacks.

Mitigation

How to mitigate the risk of insider threats

The complexity of detecting and responding to insider threats alongside other cyber security threats means that no single solution can claim to reduce the risk entirely. Instead, organisations should look to adopt layered approach, encompassing a range of security controls and processes. Organisations should:

  • Conduct regular risk assessments to understand the potential impact of insider attacks
  • Provide regular security awareness training for all staff
  • Closely manage the accounts and privileges of all employees and contractors
  • Perform penetration testing at least annually to help identify security improvements
  • Commission a simulated phishing assessment
  • Implement 24/7 network and endpoint monitoring to detect anomalous behaviour

ThreatDetect™ MDR

The benefits of Managed Detection and Response

Proactive monitoring of networks, endpoints and users plays a crucial role in helping to identify insider threats. ThreatDetect™, Redscan’s award-winning MDR service can help to identify suspicious activity, such as attempts to access systems and edit and exfiltrate data.

For a cost-effective subscription, ThreatDetect supplies the skilled security experts, cutting-edge technology and up-to-the-minute industry intelligence needed to hunt for and shut down attacks that originate from both the outside and the inside.

ThreatDetect MDR

Challenges

Other cyber security challenges

Our Services

Our award-winning services

Redscan’s security services are designed to provide the vital assistance needed to make tangible improvements to your organisation’s cyber security posture.

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Resources

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