Insider attacks are as ancient as computers, and as cybercrime gets more complex and decentralized, insider assaults have increased frequency.
Insider attacks are like a severe illness for any organization. Insiders can harm your company long before you notice them because they conceal their malicious behavior like illnesses. This injury might be lost data, revenue, and clients.
A risk mitigation strategy can assist prevent insider attacks or limit the damage they may cause. According to ProofPoint, over 44% of instances involving insider threats have been on the increase earlier this year, 2022.
What is an insider attack and its activities?
A security incident committed by an employee, contractor, or any person in a position of trust is known as an “insider attack.” This can encompass any hostile activity jeopardizing information systems’ availability, confidentiality, or integrity.
The list below includes unintentionally criminal behaviors and conscious actions made by humans:
- Data alteration, such as unauthorized data alterations
- Illegal or non-business-related uses of organizational resources
- Packet sniffing and network eavesdropping
- Unauthorized data exfiltration includes data transmission, copying, removal, and other actions.
- Sensitive assets destruction
- Downloading data from questionable sources
- Planned or carried out social engineering assaults
- Using illicit software that can be laced with malware or other harmful data
- Spoofing and unlawfully assuming the identity of others
- Installing harmful software on purpose
Insider assaults have real repercussions, whether the harm is purposeful or unintentional.
Effects of Internal Attacks
An organization may suffer serious and expensive harm as a result of insider threats. A few effects include:
- Influence on organizational productivity that is detrimental
Delays in crucial corporate processes, including supply chain management, operations, customer service, and manufacturing.
- Impact on law and regulation
Includes penalties and legal defense expenses associated with claims made by people and organizations impacted by data breaches. For instance, if a healthcare institution has a personal health information (phi) breach, the affected patients may be in danger of identity theft and other repercussions, and the firm may be subject to regulatory fines.
- Important data theft or loss
Insiders have the power to instantly undo years of labor by inadvertently or purposefully destroying intellectual property, trade secrets, personal information, consumer data, and other vital information.
- Loss of competitive edge
An effective or secret data might be lost after years of development by a company, making them lose millions in potential sales, as well as their competitive edge.
- Financial impact
When an insider attack occurs, it affects the company’s financial aspect. Money would be lost, added to the expenses for investigating such incidents and fixing systems and procedures
- A diminished reputation
Gaining back the confidence and trust of shareholders and consumers might take a lot of time.
5 Tips on How to Minimize Internal Attack
Insider attacks might not be easily wiped out, but they can be minimized to the barest minimum. Below are the following:
1. Audit Impromptu and Eliminate Unused and Suspicious Accounts
The solution is as simple as using a Windows Active Directory Domain Controller and the “DSQUERY” command.
Assuming you wish to search for accounts that haven’t been used in the last five weeks and you have a domain called organization-name.com. Enter the following: “dsquery user dc=organization-name, dc=com -inactive 5”
2. Track User Activity and Control Accounts
Track your employees’ activity to identify unusual behavior that might indicate data theft, sabotage, or misuse. Monitoring and carefully managing your staff accounts is another strategy to reduce the danger of insider attacks.
Controlling employees’ accounts helps limit information sharing and sends an alert when someone wants to launch a harmful assault. Also, there should be limited access to the whole corporate network, preventing hackers with an employee’s stealing information.
3. Respond to Cyber Security Incidents More Quickly
Responding to cyber security activities as soon as possible is crucial. Malicious individuals can cause greater damage the more time they have.
Reacting quickly to insider or cyber-attacks is particularly difficult since insiders are familiar with your cyber security system and can hide their footprints. According to the Ponemon Institute analysis, it takes about 77 days to identify and address an insider assault.
To quickly respond to an insider threat, you must be alert to possible security incidents. To monitor the insider’s activity, ensure your security team receives instant alerts when suspicious actions are detected, or cyber security rules are violated.
When you receive an alert, immediately review the user’s online session, trace, and block it. This prevents the insider attacking your company from going further.
4. Implement Security Tools and Software
Using software tools that can help detect, manage, and prevent insider attacks is another way to reduce the risk of an insider attack. Here are some security tools that should be installed and implemented
- The mechanism for preventing intrusion
- System for detecting intrusions
- Active Directory
- Endpoint security program
- Web filtering program
- Monitoring software for traffic
- Policy and system for managing passwords with at least two-factor authentication
- Security software
- System for managing privileged access
These security tools and software help put your mind at ease and prevent insider attacks.
5. Invest Your Resources in Cyber security
Don’t shy away when it comes to security. While specific preventative measures, such as rules and procedures, are free, you must make financial investments in other safety measures. While helpful, antivirus software is insufficient. Think about private cloud computing platforms and multi-factor authentication systems.
Provide expertly crafted training materials and seminars on cyber security awareness to guarantee your team’s proficiency in Cyber security.
The Solution to Manage Insider attacks
Compared to external attacks, insider attacks are more challenging to spot. This is because insiders have access, and it could be challenging to tell a malicious assault apart from a genuine user.
Quantum Technologies can help you mitigate the risk of insider attacks. Contact us today to help secure your cyber activities and many more critical facilities within your organization.