In the world of cybersecurity today insider threats are a hot topic of conversation,
and for good reason. Research conducted by Crowd Research Partners and Cybersecurity
Insiders found that 90% of organizations feel vulnerable to insider attacks for
multiple reasons that include an ever-changing landscape of technology and devices
as well as excessive access privileges and other factors. Moreover, 53% of companies
confirmed insider attacks against their organization.
security breaches increasing by an average of 27.4% year over year, the emphasis on
Insiders is well placed.
In the guide below, we’ll define an insider threat, explain why they’re important, and
offer the best insider threat detection tools to deter an attack or help your
company with insider threat management.
What is an Insider Threat?
An Insider threat is a person within an organization that presents a threat of being the
root cause or entry point for a data breach. Any person that gives an opportunity for a
malicious individual to gain privileged access to sensitive information held by an
organization using sources within that organization for lateral movement throughout a
company network is considered an insider threat.
Many people have access to an organization’s network including current and former
employees, contractors, vendors and more. This means the sheer number of potential
threats make threat detection incredibly difficult to track and identify before an
Insider threats can be grouped into three main categories:
Why is Insider Threat Management so
To put it simply, insider attacks are incredibly expensive. In today’s cybersecurity
landscape insider threats garner a lot of attention from security professionals for
quite a few reasons, including the fact that insider threats are costlier to detect
and contain than external attacks.
Why are insider attacks so costly? Insider attacks are more difficult to detect, and they
usually take longer to resolve, which increases the overall cost of the attack to an
On average, a malicious insider attack takes 50 days to resolve. The more time an
attacker has access to a network, the likelihood of records being taken or deleted
increases exponentially, which in turn increases the cost of a breach exponentially. The
average cost to resolve a data breach of any kind ranges between $126 and $156 for each
compromised record. Take into account the fact that the global average for the number of
records exposed or compromised during a breach is 24,089, which brings the average total
cost of a single data breach anywhere between $3.0M – 3.6M.
Considering costs at that scale, it’s easy to understand why security professionals
are so concerned about insider threats.
- What are our Needs?
- Is it providing the data you need?
- Is it tailorable to my needs?
Who is at Risk of an Insider Attack?
The honest answer is that any company can fall victim to an insider attack, but
research shows us that certain organizations seem to be more attractive than others
from the perspective of hackers and attackers. Some factors that increase your
chances of being a target include the kind of data your organization holds, the
sector in which your organization operates, and what region of the world you
Why do Hackers Target These Regions?
Organizational Information Increases Risk of Insider Threat?
The goal of an attack is often to obtain secret or confidential information held by an
organization. The type of information your organization houses may increase the chances
of an attack against your company.
Here are the top four categories of information that attackers seem to consider
There are numerous
ways to protect your organization from insider threats. Your options range from
educating employees on phishing emails and other scams via seminars and training to
installing Employee Monitoring, or User Behavior Analytics Software designed to
identify, prevent, and capture attacks before they become costly. These systems can
communicate with your existing tools and automatically trigger your security protocols
without having to lift a finger.
With that said, it’s important to take the proper steps and choose the correct actions
based on your current situation.
What Software Should I
Consider for Insider Threat Detection?
There are a number of different software categories that can be used to detect and deter
insider threats, it’s very dependent upon your goals and what you currently have running
in your stack. These tools allow organizations to proactively detect and respond to
risky activity in real-time.
ActivTrak is an easy-to-install, low-maintenance insider
threat detection solution that just works. It’s continuously tracking and
reacting for you, freeing up your time to focus on securing other areas of your
Here are a few reasons why ActivTrak is an ideal solution for Insider Threat
- Alarms trigger automated security alerts and reactions. Terminate an
unauthorized application, send on-screen notifications, capture screenshots, and
watch video playback when the event took place.
- Behavioral data is available on the dashboard within moments of installation.
Review reports and screen captures to locate suspicious application usage,
website history, and USB activity.
- Gain visibility when a user evokes in-browser Incognito Mode and understand if
the user is attempting to evade detection, and why.
- Investigate security breaches and come to a data-supported conclusion about what
happened, when it happened, and who was responsible.
- Spot sudden changes in user schedule and passive time, providing additional
context to abnormal usage patterns.
- Consult the Risk Level Report to see which users exhibit high-risk behavior and
which suspicious activities occur more frequently.
- Check in on your team any time, anywhere from the desktop or our mobile app.
Finding and Implementing the Best Insider Threat Management Solution for your Business
Recap: Insider Threat Management
should be concerned about insider threats. They’ve quickly become the easiest
way for attackers to gain access to an organizations network. Once inside, an attacker
can navigate freely under the alias of an employee that has privileges to find the
information the hacker is interested in finding. This cloak of regularity allows attacks
to go on for longer periods of time without being detected, which dramatically increases
the overall cost of a breach. Be on the lookout for negligent, compromised, and
malicious insiders as you conduct an audit. Anyone can become the target of an insider
attack, but those in the financial services industry and businesses in the US and the
Middle East have the highest likelihood of being hit by an attack due to the potential
financial gain and longevity of attacks. Safeguard your organization by Implementing
employee monitoring, auditing events that take place on your network, keeping open lines
of communication with key stakeholders, segregating duties so that one person can’t
request and authorize a transaction, and finally, by training your employees to avoid
the common activities that put their hardware and credentials at risk. The bottom line
here is that you need to invest in emerging and existing technologies to make it easier
for you and your team to spot and prevent