What is an Insider Threat?
Threats to your organization don’t always come from outside your walls. Any user within your organization who has legitimate access to data or systems poses a risk! Sometimes this is accidental: a careless employee or contractor inadvertently sharing confidential information or downloading malware. Other times, it is deliberate: the stealing and selling of confidential data by a spurned employee or by an imposter using compromised credentials.
Whether it is done wittingly or unwittingly, the destruction, altercation, or exploitation of data such as employee health records, customer passwords, security protocols, financial targets, or intellectual property by an ‘insider’ is catastrophic for the organization and the stakeholders it affects. It can cause significant loss revenue through stalling customer trust and business operations and impact national security if the business operations impact an industry involved in critical infrastructure.
When the price to be paid is so high, organizations need to orient their cyber security defenses to look within their walls, as well as over them.
How Does an Insider Threat Occur?
Anyone within your organization can use their authorized access or their understanding of it to cause damage. Some of the most common insider threats are:
Threat actors pretending to be a figure of authority can contact unsuspecting employees and trick them into parting with confidential data, such as login details, or download malware, just by asking!
Human error strikes again! Employees can mistakenly leave resources unsecured through outdated patching or the misconfiguration of security, permitting free access to the data they store.
An employee or contractor can quickly turn from friend to foe and exploit their access to your data. Malicious insiders can delete or alter your data out of revenge, or sell it on the cyber underground to supplement their income.
If a threat actor has access to compromised credentials such as login details, they are able to pose as an employee and move laterally within the system to their desired target before launching their attack.
How Can You Combat Insider Threat?
Operate using the Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) and don’t give any employee, contractor, or third party more access than they need to complete their job.
Use Network Detection and Response (NDR) or a Security Information and Events Management (SIEM) to spot moles impersonating employees by pinpointing anomalous activity from everyday operations within your network to quickly identify and mitigate against insider threats.
By training staff to recognise phishing scams and other social engineering attacks, it will be far harder for threat actors to deceive employees.
How Can Intel 471 Help?
Use Intel 471’s Attack Surface Protection to map and monitor your attack surface. By discovering all your assets, you can easily identify human error that has resulted in unsecured, unpatched applications or to address to prevent threats from this attack vector. We alert you to any changes within your attack surface so that you can investigate promptly.
Intel 471 is able to locate compromised credentials from sources unique to our research capability including threat actors, machine, and malware sources. This comprehensive oversight allows us to alert you as soon as credentials relevant to your organization are identified so you can respond as fast as possible to prevent moles, or rapidly implement your incident response plan in the event of a breach.
Our ‘boots on the ground’ analysts procure a unique understanding of threat actors’ tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). This informs our timely alerts and intelligence reports on relevant threats to your organization, such as if a ransomware group is colluding with an employee.
We leverage our presence on the cyber underground to track malware families and threat actors to provide in-depth, technical malware reports and a live feed of the latest IOCs for these families. Use these to accurately block malware attacks early and mitigate their impact.
Intel 471 is your window to the cyber underground. As threat actors are using more sophisticated means to attack, our unrivaled cyber threat intelligence (CTI) can help identify threats, so you can prepare your defenses and mitigate the harm caused to your organizations. Intel 471 offers the following capabilities and more to help protect you from insider threats: