Defense Strategies to Combat Insider Threats

  March 13, 2024 | Christopher Sayadian | Cybersecurity, Tools & Resources


Defense Strategies to Combat Insider Threats


Insider threats are among the most dangerous cybersecurity risks. However, many organizations don’t adequately address them, either due to hesitation or oversight. While some have programs to manage insider risks, they often lack sufficient budgets to effectively tackle the issue. Having a program isn’t enough to safeguard your company’s data from sophisticated attacks.


This article explains the various types of insider threats, the harm they can cause, the factors that increase these risks, and the security measures to counter them.


Understanding Insider Threats


An insider threat involves an employee or contractor,  knowingly or unknowingly, misusing their authorized access to harm your business. There are three main types:


1. Negligent insider: This is an employee or contractor who accidentally allows hackers into your network due to carelessness.


2. Criminal insider: These individuals exploit their privileged access to steal sensitive data for financial gain or personal vendettas.


3. Credential thief: Someone who impersonates an employee or contractor to gain access to data illegally.


The Serious Impact of Insider Threats


Even one breach caused by an insider can severely harm your business in several ways:


Data theft: Breaches can expose valuable data like customer information or trade secrets, leading to significant damage.


Downtime: Recovering from a breach takes time and resources, impacting your business operations.


Property damage: Malicious insiders may damage physical or digital assets, leading to costly repairs.


Reputation damage: A breach can shatter trust among investors, partners, and clients, tarnishing your business’s reputation.



User Attributes Exacerbating Insider Threats

Several factors increase the likelihood of insider breaches, including:


Excessive access: Providing unnecessary access to users.


Inadequate controls: Poor management of user rights.


Weak credentials: Using easily guessable passwords.


Single points of failure: Lack of access control, such as with CEO fraud.


Building a Strong Defense


To proactively defend against insider threats, businesses can take various steps:


System assessment: Audit all systems, data assets, and users to identify potential threats.


• Access restriction: Limit user privileges to necessary data.


• Security training: Train all users to recognize and report suspicious behavior.


• Password policies: Enforce strict password guidelines.


• Enhanced authentication: Use methods like two-factor authentication.


• Baseline behavior: Establish norms for user activity.


• Ongoing monitoring: Implement systems to detect unusual behavior.


Detecting and mitigating insider threats is challenging for businesses of all sizes. Handled IT Partners can assist in assessing security risks, fortifying infrastructure, and protecting your critical data.

Contact us for a free consultation.

Don’t Miss a Single Tech Tip

Sign up for our newsletter to get all the latest tech news sent straight to your inbox.


      Let's get your Tech Handled


        Apply Now

        No file selected.