Who is an Insider, and what is an Insider Threat?
An insider is anyone who has authorized access to or knowledge of an organization’s resources, including its personnel, facilities, information, equipment, networks, and systems.
An insider would be someone your company has given access to sensitive information, a person with regular or continuous access to your company’s premises and network, a person who is knowledgeable about the fundamentals of your company, including its strengths and weaknesses, a person who is knowledgeable about your company’s business strategies and goals, and a person with access to protected information about your company, which if compromised, can cause damage to your corporate sustenance.
From this, we can think of an Insider Threat as the potential for an insider to use their authorized access to or understanding of your company’s business secrets to harm your company. This harm could be malicious, complacent, or unintentional; nevertheless, the end result negatively impacts your company’s integrity and confidentiality.
Insider threats are risks to your company’s sustenance that facilitate the following dangers: espionage, unauthorized disclosure of information, sabotage, corruption, theft, workplace violence, and reduced business profitability.
Types of Insider Threats
Insider threats can be unintentional or intentional.
When an insider threat is unintentional, it usually results from negligence or a mistake on the part of an insider, like misplacing or losing a portable storage device containing your sensitive information, ignoring messages to install new cybersecurity updates and security patches to your computer network, mistyping an email address and accidentally sending a sensitive business document to a competitor, etc.
These are various risks to a company’s sustenance that companies can successfully work to minimize, but they will occur as they can’t be prevented entirely, which is why companies need to have mitigation measures in place so these risks can be successfully dealt with when they occur.
Unlike these risks, however, an intentional insider threat results from malice on the part of the insider. These threats occur because an insider actively wants to harm your company for their personal benefit or to right a supposed wrong that they believe was done to them, like a lack of recognition for their efforts at the company or termination of their employment for whatever reason.
In doing this, their actions could include collaborating with external threat actors who aren’t formal members of your company to compromise your company, stealing and leaking your company’s sensitive information, harassing associates, sabotaging company equipment, or perpetrating workplace violence.
What to expect from Insider Threat Management
Insider Threat Management is necessary for every organization that obtains and stores sensitive data. It is the process through which risks and vulnerabilities to your company arising from the negligence or intentional malice of an insider are dealt with successfully before your company suffers any harm.
Insider Threat Management involves threat detection and identification using human and technological elements.
Human elements would involve frequently positioning co-workers, peers, friends, neighbors, family members, or casual observers for insights into and awareness of predispositions, stressors, and behaviors of an insider who may be considering malicious acts.
Technological elements, on the other hand, would include using technology in conjunction with human sensors to detect vulnerabilities and prevent insider threats.
To learn more about what to expect from Insider Threat Management services, you can easily schedule a brief and free consultation with us, especially if you have ongoing suspicious activity at your company or organization and would like to know more about how you get value from Insider Threat Management Services.
You can also contact us whenever you’re available; we’ll be ready to assist you with any needed clarifications.
How to Hire Insider Threat Management Services
Hiring Insider Threat Management Services can be challenging, like any other hiring venture. It’s often difficult for people with urgent security needs to take the necessary time to vet Firms they come across that presuppose they can handle anyone’s security needs.
You want to be sure you’re hiring well-experienced professionals with the skills to quiet any insider threats affecting your company’s sustenance; however, you may not have the expert capacity to examine the companies you come across as adequately as possible; and that’s where our value comes into play.
At Security Pro, we make the process of hiring security professionals for your protection as seamless as possible. What we do is simple — we research, identify, and connect you with the best security professionals the industry has to offer.
All you have to do is schedule a brief and free consultation with us; we’ll discuss your security needs and whether your suspicions warrant Insider Threat Management, and from there, we’ll do the intense work of sifting through the many Insider Threat Management Firms and Professionals the industry has to offer, presenting you with the best choices to pick from.
Our Security Pro network contains security professionals expertly skilled in managing insider threats, with years of experience to boot and a usual holistic approach to their job, so no corners are left untouched in your organizational operations.
The Insider Threat Management Firms we work with do not take a one-size-fits-all approach to threat management; instead, they focus on creating case-specific, creative solutions based on good communication, partnerships, and leveraging resources.
What comes next after hiring Insider Threat Management Services
When you hire an Insider Threat Management Firm, your organization will be assigned an Insider Threat team responsible for initiating monitoring and surveillance measures to detect unusual activities within your premises.
In doing this, the team will curate an adequate insider threat program for your company (see our blog post on the benefits of having an Insider Threat Program). The program will proactively use mitigative measures (risk indicators) to detect, assess and manage any threats and risks from unusual behaviors or activities at your premises for your company’s protection.
These risk indicators are observable and reportable behaviors that indicate individuals potentially at a greater risk of becoming a threat. These risk indicators are categorized into the following:
These include any unusual behavior on the part of the insider. Any attributes that indicate an insider’s compromise toward the company’s sustenance count as personal indicators.
These are events that happened before an individual became hired by an organization or before an individual obtained access to the organization’s network.
These are actions by the insider directly observable by peers, Human Resources personnel, supervisors, and technology. Over time, behaviors create a baseline of activities from which changes may be considered a threat indicator.
These involve any network and host activities undertaken by the insider that indicate threats to an organization’s sustenance. Detecting these indicators will require the direct application of Information Technology systems.
These are environmental factors that escalate or mitigate stressors contributing to behavioral changes that lead to an individual’s progression from trusted insider to insider threat. These factors are often related to organizational policies and cultural workplace practices.
When these risks are identified with the mentioned indicators, physical and digital measures will be put in place to cater to these risks.
Examples of physical measures would include functional assessments of these risks to reveal any imminent threats, use of law enforcement, considering administrative actions (restrictions, suspension, discipline, expulsion, or termination) against the insider, and soliciting referrals for the insider’s professional evaluation regarding mental health, substance abuse, or anger management, among others.
Examples of digital measures would include enforcing multiple layers of protection for your organization’s computer networks, such as database firewalls, user rights management, data encryption, data loss prevention, user behavior analytics, database monitoring, and alert prioritization.