DefendX CEO, Joe Cutroneo's, Forbes Tech Council Article:
Today, the majority of transactions are conducted via technology. From how we shop to how we work, a good chunk of our time involves hours spent in front of the computer, navigating our way through loads of data. While this undoubtedly has made nearly everything in our daily lives more convenient, it, unfortunately, opens up the doors to more insider threats, and you have to be far more cautious of both the past and present employees who have access to your organization’s system.
So first of all, let’s establish exactly what is categorized as an insider threat.
Insider threats are people. And they come in the form of contractors, business partners, vendors and any employee who has had access to your organization’s systems and use it for their personal gain. However, keep in mind that there are some instances when a data leakage is purely accidental.
From here, insider threats can be broken down into two different types:
1. The Negligent insider: This is a person who causes an accidental leakage and really has no intentions of harming the business. It typically occurs when a sensitive email is sent to the wrong person outside of the organization or the employee loses their work device or becomes a victim of a phishing attack. These attacks, which have grown much more common since the outbreak of Covid-19, occur when an attacker sends a fake message created to trick a human victim into sharing sensitive data or to position malicious software on the victim’s infrastructure. In many cases, the fraudulent message is sent to obtain names, phone numbers, addresses, tax file numbers and bank account details — to commit theft.
2. The Malicious Insider: This is a person who has an intentional plan behind stealing data. Oftentimes, this person will extract intellectual property or personally identifiable information for the purpose of gaining a competitive edge. Other times, this is conducted by an ex-employee who is disgruntled by something that happened during or after their time attached to your organization. Maybe they feel as if they’ve wrongly been fired.
It’s easy to assume that all the employees you hire will not fall under the malicious insider category. However, you need to be prepared in the event that an employee hoodwinks you. It is for this reason that IT administrators are continuously searching for ways to protect themselves from outside hackers.
Permissions and network access should be based on a need-to-know level of responsibility instead of on trust. Even with proper permissions on your network, it’s extremely beneficial to recruit the help of file auditing software that can help determine inconsistencies.
By adopting file auditing software, you’ll up your organization’s chances of preventing insider threats, whether intentional or accidental. This type of software is an advanced file monitoring application that pinpoints suspicious access requests. It also changes in-file permissions, for added protection.