What Is An Insider Threat? Do You Have a Malicious Insider?

The rise of cybercrime over the last few years has catapulted stories of major data breaches into the headlines. Stories about cyberattacks such as the Solar Winds ransomware attack and reports of breaches of power grids and other major cyber crimes have become more frequent than ever. Government and businesses everywhere have had trouble keeping up with the new and ever-changing security protocols required for solid cyber security. But what if you are unaware of nefarious cyber events being planned within your organization? How can you possibly know that one of your “trusted employees” is planning to steal your data or help a cybercriminal? How can small to midsized businesses with limited budgets and personnel be aware of such attacks and prepare to defend against them? At first, the task might seem daunting. But the good news is that we are all creatures of habit, and computers routinely and efficiently capture those habits. Furthermore, the IT world has isolated several Potential Threat Indicators.

What Are The Potential Inside Threat Indicators?

There are several typical patterns of behavior of someone planning an insider attack:

One problem is that the inside perpetrators might be in management. For example, an unscrupulous CEO who ordinarily could be a person in authority has no motivation to stop his or her own illegal acts. Therefore, someone within every organization needs to be the sole point person, whether or not he or she is the IT professional who will ultimately address these threats. By doing so, a company can reduce the universe of those persons who can potentially be the culprit in an insider breach.

Case Study

A small multi-office accounting firm in Baltimore had substantial cyber security in place. The firm had worked with a local IT company that conscientiously locked down its many endpoints and felt it had sufficient network security. After all, the IT company installed a strong VPN, secure password managers and all the layers of protection a high-compliance accounting service requires. As a result, attempts at outsider attacks were routinely thwarted before severe data breaches could occur.

However, unbeknownst to the rest of management, the COO of the firm was in personal financial peril. He was living beyond his means and had acquired a lot of debt. In a desperate attempt to save his personal financial solvency, the executive began planning to sell sensitive client data to a professional cybercriminal in Prague.

Fortunately, the accounting firm had its IT expert come in for a quarterly evaluation. While analyzing system events, the firm noticed some suspicious activities that did not look like they came from outside attackers. Several unsuccessful attempts at logging into proprietary data were evident. However, the IT professional didn’t immediately examine C-level personnel because it never occurred to her that an executive of the company would be the perpetrator. After arduous testing, a trail of nefarious activity was traced back to the COO, and he resigned in disgrace. Fortunately, the plan was uncovered before the illegal sale of data could be executed.

Small to midsized businesses cannot afford to ignore cyber security. Malicious insider threats can be addressed only by IT professionals. IT experts are essential to safely doing business and protecting hard-earned business data. They know how to uncover insider attacks. As the growing tech world and our use of online technology now encompass so many areas of our personal and business lives, cybercriminals continue to stay in step and find new ways to attack private and business data. Smaller businesses have neither the time nor the budget for a full-time IT department. Therefore, it is essential to employ IT experts to provide risk analysis, assess your cyber vulnerability and help you design the best layers of protection for your hard-earned business data.

DIGIGUARD Cyber Security Knows How to Monitor and Protect Against Insider Threats

DIGIGUARD, a small business IT company specializing in preventing cyber threats of all kinds, has a wide array of solutions to protect against cybercrimes and ensure you have the best possible protection. It works with small and midsized businesses to provide cyber risk training and establish cyber security best practices to ensure your confidential data is secure. In addition, DIGIGUARD locks down your devices, making sure they have the specific protections they require, especially those used for remote-access work. For any business, cyberattacks can have devastating consequences. DIGIGUARD can assess your cyber risks and work with you to design Zero Trust architecture and all the best protection solutions for your business.

Call DIGIGUARD CYBER SECURITY at 833-33-CYBER (833-332-9237) and visit www.DIGIGUARDsecurity.com to discuss how you can increase your company’s level of cyber security and avoid malicious insider attacks.