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Megan SHAW Sep 28, 2022 1:16:38 AM 5 min read

Protect Your Systems From Within Against Insider Threats

Is your cybersecurity plan focused only on external threats? Do you not consider issues arising out of probable internal threat points? If the answer to the above questions is yes, then there is a serious problem. Your security plan is miscalculated and incomplete.

Many organizations have a cybersecurity plan focused only on external threats, leaving out issues that can arise out of probable internal threat points. 

Insider threats are dangerous and malicious as external threats. In this blog, we will explore all about insider threats and how to combat them.

What is an insider threat?

In simple terms, it means a threat arising from an organization’s internal users who have legitimate access to the network, applications or databases. It can be from an employee’s system, former employees' system or third parties such as partners, contractors or temporary workers with access to physical or digital assets. Although not everyone could be intentionally trying to cause trouble, cyber threats have their way of navigating through channels.

Some alarming facts about insider attacks include:

  • Insider threats have increased by 47% in the past two years.
  • Insider threat statistics reveal that 70% of organizations see more frequent insider attacks.
  • The cost of insider threats (related to credential theft) for organizations in 2020 was $2.79 million.

Insider attacks cause data ex-filtration and accidental data loss, costing millions. These lead to data breaches exposing confidential customer information and client and company data.

How to identify an insider threat? 

The majority of insider threats go unnoticed for months or even years because they can be exceptionally difficult to detect as the attacker has valid authorization to access data making it nearly impossible to differentiate between normal and harmful activity. These types of attacks that are caused by abuse of access can be extremely damaging to an organization, its employees, and customers. 

Therefore, it becomes important to identify insider threats, how they operate, and how attackers carry out these attacks. These are most common in healthcare, the financial sector, and government institutions, however, other industries are equally vulnerable. Below are a few points on how to identify these attackers. 

  • Define organizational assets into groups – not all users are the same. They may have different locations, roles, and activities. It is best to define organizational assets into groups. Always scrutinize all personnel before granting access. 
  • Minutely inspect human behavior, but remotely – take clues from human behavior with minimum human intervention. User Entity and Behavior Analysis (UEBA) is a great way to identify how user accounts and assets are typically used. It helps recognise rogue users who enjoy neglecting IT procedures. 

Keeping a thorough check on these rogue users can minimize the chances of insider attacks significantly. Yet there can be breaches. What to do in that case?

Protection from insider threats 

Insider threats are unpredictable. Your best bet is to educate employees and all relevant stakeholders. 

  • Conduct training sessions: A lot of incidents and accidents can be avoided by simply training the stakeholders to identify attacks and phishing attempts.
  • Depend on AI: Having the right technology backup can make the world of a difference. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are some of the technologies that DNIF uses to identify and combat these attacks.
  • Build a strong cybersecurity net: Having a strong cybersecurity system for insider threats is as important as having one for external threats. It can go a long way in keeping breaches away.

Also, organizations should not shy away from investing in continuously updating their systems to monitor human behavior and evolving relationships through continuous analysis and learning of the email network.

Using DNIF HYPERCLOUD to protect against insider threats

Visibility is everything. Every enterprise needs the necessary visibility into its systems. However, most SIEMs fail to identify connections between threats as they focus on isolated alerts and make a list of disconnect alerts. DNIF HYPERCLOUD identifies connections between various threat signals and gives you a clear picture of the threat landscape. 

Schedule a demo with us, today! 



Megan SHAW

Product advocate to current customers, I am old school with a varied set of experiences.