How to Protect Against Insider Risk?

How to Protect Against Insider Risk

Cybercriminals and external threats pose plenty of challenges for organizations. Responding to the threats, nearly every organization puts in the maximum level of effort and time to protect itself from them. Meanwhile, organizations also face a severe risk from internal threats. To deal with additional internal risks, an organization must tighten its belt further to protect against insider risk.


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The most upsetting finding from the Cybersecurity Insiders study is that numerous security teams might not perceive the financial impact of insider attacks. More than 50% of those studied believe it would cost under $100,000 to manage or intercede an insider attack. Nevertheless, studies show that these sorts of attacks are essentially higher in cost.

Insider threats disguise themselves in diverse forms. The most common threat occurs when an employee makes a mistake without any malicious intention. For instance, when a team member clicks on a harmful link incorporated in a phishing email, it causes damage to an organization.

Similarly, there exist malicious insiders as well, and they intentionally cause harm to an organization. These people can deliberately manipulate the system of an organization or steal sensitive information. To prevent insider risk, we discuss some of the tips to help you adopt them. So, let’s go right into it without further ado.

Implementing Robust Authentication

It becomes an easy job for an attacker to access sensitive information when he gets valid credentials. For example, a cybercriminal can obtain credentials from a compromised third-party site or a phishing attack. In some cases, a colleague secretly steals credentials from another co-worker. Thus, a straightforward combination of a user ID and password is not enough. However, passwords need an appropriate minimum intricacy and must never get used in various locations.

Moreover, it becomes an increased responsibility on a rightful user to ensure the privacy of passwords. Changing passwords too often can prompt users to write them down somewhere, and thus someone can get it. On the other hand, rarely changing can open the possibility of consistently failing to change passwords by any stretch of the imagination. It is the case since an illegitimate user can continue to use while the legitimate one remains ignorant.

Along these lines, multi-factor authentication (MFA) is the only way to prevent bad guys from accessing sensitive information. More so, if an attacker somehow gets access to the user ID and password, multi-factor authentication can block them from getting misused.

Implementing Continuous Training on Best Practices

Organizations need to ensure a culture of continuous security training for their employees, including contractors and full-time employees. It is because every employee needs to know the best practices running in the field. For instance, each worker must have the ability to differentiate between a legitimate and phishing email. Besides, it involves generating and keeping strong passwords and avoiding using shared logins/passwords for desktops, networks, servers.

It applies equally to higher management as to overall staff. Organizations should carry out successive short training sessions to educate users about the latest tactics of adversaries, updated security protocols, and government security orders. These should happen ideally on a monthly basis.

Controlling Remote Access from All Endpoints

Deploy and appropriately configure remote intrusion detection/prevention and mobile information interception systems. Routinely check whether employees still need remote access or a mobile device. Also, certify that all remote access for employees is removed shortly before or after leaving the organization.

Implementing Secure Backup and Recovery Procedures

Try to implement and configure file/mailbox archiving and a backup system. Next, make a backup strategy requiring a complete backup, something like each month. Likewise, build up and practice a disaster recovery plan. Finally, suppose some portion of the backup and recovery process is subcontracted or outsourced. In that case, you must represent the likelihood that a reliable business partner utilizes a malicious insider.

Identifying And Stopping Privileged Access Abuse

Without a doubt, the most malicious insider risk arises from privileged users. Such user can pose a security challenge at any moment. A privileged user can be anyone in an organization, including admins, engineers, and executives. These users are far more dangerous to an organization with access to the most precious intellectual property and restricted data.

For controlling and monitoring sensitive information, some excellent tools exist. These tools have some capabilities of webmail/email traffic monitoring, website tracking for employees, instant-message/social-media monitoring, logging records employees have gotten into, etc. Furthermore, there are some usual behavioral signs present among users that try to abuse their privilege. Identifying such behavior can help stop them before the data breach takes place.

Final Words

Insider threat report from Cybersecurity Insider claims that 68% of security teams who have got surveyed feel extremely to moderately vulnerable to insider risks. Hence, developing proactive tactics and strategies to deal with evolving cybersecurity threats is inevitable.




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