An insider threat occurs when employees, vendors, or business associates who have access to an organization’s information, network, or premises use that access intentionally or unintentionally to compromise the security and perform malicious activities like theft, fraud and damaging systems.
Types of Insider Threats are –
- Malicious Insider – A malicious insider is an employee who intentionally steals information for monetary or personal gain. Since they are very well acquainted with the company’s security policies and procedures, they have an advantage over other attackers.
- Negligent Insider – Insiders do not want to put the company at risk, but they do so unintentionally by acting recklessly. An employee who does not adhere to IT security policies or make mistakes due to poor judgement. e.g., an administrator who does not install a security patch.
- Compromised Insider – An employee whose computer is infected with malware is a typical example of a compromised insider. This usually occurs as a result of phishing scams or clicking on links that lead to malware downloads.
Some Key Features of Insider Threat Management Solutions are –
- Privileged Access Management (PAM) – ITM solution determines who has access to systems and applications at any given time. PAM apps can do this by creating and deleting user identities. It employs password vaulting, encryption techniques and access control for mission-critical technologies and applications. For password and data sharing PAM uses encryption which is a secure way of communication and it prevents attackers from reading data. A compromised credential is at the heart of the majority of security breaches. As a result, Privileged Access Management (PAM) is an essential component of ITM (Insider Threat Management) solution.
- User Activity Monitoring with Big Data Analysis – Security threats have increased and become more complex as work-from-home and remote-work activities have expanded. As a result of remote work, security priorities have shifted, and security protocols have been changed. Insider security management tools create models of user behaviour and assign risk scores. Creating behavioural baselines based on various factors like timing of activity, data accessed and actively learning what is acceptable behaviour is the most effective way to detect insider threats without producing a large number of false-positive warnings. To detect privilege misuse, sophisticated machine learning models and data science is used to track and analyse vast quantities of data from a variety of sources. This helps in the detection of multiple attacks spanning multiple alarms, allowing for rapid detection and response.
- Investigation and Threat Mitigation – In case an intruder breaches the perimeter and gains access to the organization’s network, security teams can search for multiple compromised credentials or abuse indicators to confirm the threat. ITM’s machine learning is used by security teams to generate security-relevant signals. These techniques will help in visibility and detailed forensic analysis.
A successful Insider Threat Management solution requires an understanding of what organization values and what could potentially harm or threaten those assets. A complete understanding of an organization’s assets allows for proper coordination and risk management. A tried-and-true ITM solution starts with figuring out where an organization’s properties are kept and who has access to them. This allows for a more comprehensive classification of each asset’s risk and the implementation of risk-based mitigation strategies.