Most security procedures aimed at detecting and countering cyber-attacks are concerned with external threats. However, the threat from a faceless outsider is real, but it is also possible to be attacked from within your organization – and not by someone you don’t recognize or trust. 34 percent of data breaches in 2019 included insiders, according to research. Internal cyber security must be taken just as seriously as external cyber security because a single insider attack can have a disastrous effect on your business.
Insider threats are a type of security risk introduced by a person who is currently employed by or has previously worked for a company, as well as by a business partner or contractor. Typically, a person with access to privileged accounts or sensitive data on the company’s network is involved. They’ll jeopardize this access, whether they do it on purpose or not. Insider risks are particularly prevalent in certain industries, such as finance, government, and healthcare. However, if precautions aren’t taken, any company might be put at risk.
There is an external threat from outside the targeted organization. For financial gain, to acquire company secrets, or for political or social objectives like hacktivists, they can be carried out by a variety of harmful actors. An intellectual challenge or the desire to impress their friends can motivate some hackers to launch an assault. DDoS attacks, drive-by attacks, password attacks, eavesdropping attacks, and more are all methods for compromising external security or causing harm. Every day, the sophistication of cybercrimes increases, necessitating the implementation of preventative measures by all businesses.
External cyber dangers are more common than threats from within, as previously stated. Even so, recognizing an insider danger may be more difficult than creating an effective security perimeter around our networks and systems.
In the analogy of a fortress under attack, it is typically obvious where the walls are breached or where the attack is coming from. If the castle’s walls are fortified and its troops are on guard, it will be difficult for an intruder to get in. Alternatively, all it takes is one rogue inside the walls to poison the well or unlock the gates is one rogue inside the walls. This kind of danger would frequently go unnoticed. One insider is all it takes for the outside world to storm the gates!
Insider security threats today are often perpetrated by long-term employees that you least expect to cause harm to your firm. This brings us back to the present times. Insider dangers are more difficult to detect since they have a more personal touch to them.
The insider threat is a concern for some firms, but they prefer to ignore it. They may fear that it will erode their employees’ confidence, thus they are reluctant to put in place proper security. In many cases, it is too late for a firm to learn the enormous damage that a malicious or careless insider might do to its business. At the same time, businesses must maintain a workforce that is happy, pleased, and trustworthy. Angry employees can quickly become insider threats.
It is impossible to completely prevent all insider threats, but there are steps that can be taken to make them less likely.
Do you think an external or inside cyber assault is more dangerous? When it comes to the type and amount of attack that occurred, as well as the industry and the information that was stolen, there are several variables to consider.
It is possible to categorize insider threats as intentional or negligent, with a corresponding range of unique insiders with a variety of motivations for launching a cyberattack against a company.
Malicious insider: Regardless of whether the malicious insider is a current or former employee, business partner, or contractor, they are typically motivated by either avarice or retribution. It is possible that an insider with nefarious motives might steal and sell firm knowledge or gain access to company finances so that they may withdraw funds for their own use. An insider bent on vengeance could be a former co-worker who was wrongfully terminated or a superior who was elevated above them. Disruption or selling knowledge to a rival competitor could be used to sabotage the company, resulting in both revenge and financial gain. As a result of their familiarity with the organization, malicious insiders are better positioned to exploit any weaknesses that may exist.
Inadvertent or thoughtless insider: Careless employees are not only a prevalent source of insider threats, but they are also notoriously difficult to identify. Humans make mistakes; no one is perfect. Distraction or juggling duties could lead to us making a mistake. There are several reasons why an employee might not be able to log off their computer when they leave the office. It’s possible that an employee lost a USB device carrying sensitive data, which would result in data leakage.
Innocent mistakes might be made by employees who have worked for a company for a long period of time without incident. No matter how well-protected a system is, there will always be a chance for an isolated error to occur. Repeated security violations necessitate increased security training for employees.
You can lessen the danger by establishing a strong security culture within your company, educating employees about cybersecurity, and preparing them to handle cyber security issues from the start.
Compromised insider: ‘Negligent’ could be considered a subset of this type of threat. An example of this would be an employee who clicked on an unsecured link in a phishing scam and inadvertently infected the network with malware.
There are two types of insiders: moles and insider spies. They could be a thief pretending to be an employee or contractor or even an existing employee. Information security may be jeopardized if an employee leaves one company to work for a rival.
An example of a Third-Party User is a contractor with access to the network for the duration of their contract. It could be a few hours or a few months of work on a commercial endeavour. Third-party users, including regular employees, can jeopardize network security through carelessness or malevolent intent.
Internal risks aren’t as easy to recognize as external ones, as we’ve discovered. Employees who have harmful intent may access the network at odd hours or from strange locations, or they may work late or early without permission.
Discontentment with their employment or financial difficulties may also be present, but this is more likely to be concealed if someone is plotting nasty behaviour.
Because of a personal condition, such as alcohol addiction or personal problems outside of work that make them more vulnerable to an unintended threat, it may be necessary for the person in question to seek professional help.