Insider Risk

4 Steps to Decrease the Risk of Malicious Insider Activity

By Veriato Team

David Green, a CSO,  has a new whitepaper out.  Here he addresses some practical things you can do to improve your organizational ability to detect insider threats before they become insider attacks, react quickly and with confidence to potential (or actual) problems, and in doing so increase the security of you intellectual property and confidential information.

David blends years of experience with insights gained from working closely with our customers.  It’s a great read, and an excellent resource.

“The risk of malicious activity has never been more of a reality for organizations. End users today access, process, and manage privileged data more than ever as part of their job. This need for employees to use privileged data puts the organization at risk of malicious actions that include data theft, destruction, manipulation, and ransom. And it’s not just theory, a full one third of reported insider incidents in 2015 involved end users who access sensitive data as a requirement to do their jobs .

This raises the question of why a seemingly loyal employee would turn and even contemplate stealing data, let alone take action. Approximately half of insider incidents have a financial motive1 . There are plenty of buyers of credit card data, social security numbers, and healthcare data – all with per-record market rates ranging from one cent to well over $1,000. Additionally, organizations with intellectual property and trade secrets are also at risk of insider espionage, which has increased as the primary motive from less than 5% of attacks in 2009 to 25% in 2015.”

The challenge in detecting malicious actions exists because, in most cases, employees are simply taking advantage of the access to data, applications, and systems that your organization has authorized as part of their job. It’s usually a simple case of privilege misuse, which was the top threat action, occurring in 53% of insider incidents1 . For example, a user who normally accesses documents containing intellectual property can simply exfiltrate those documents as attachments via any web-based email platform.

It’s so utterly difficult to spot the difference that 70% of insider incidents take either months or years to be detected1 . To help address the growing problem, Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI), which includes their worldrenown CERT division, released a Common Sense Guide to Mitigating Insider Threats. The guide contains 19 practices to protect your organization from insider threats. One of the key ways to reduce the risk of insider threats this paper will focus on is found in Practice #4, entitled

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Veriato Team
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