what is an insider threat?

What is an ‘Insider Threat’ and How Do We Detect Them?

Insider threats are the biggest cyber security issue for companies and big organizations because they can cause the most damage. These types of cyber security threats are also very hard to detect and prevent in comparison to outsider attacks. This is because insiders already have the ‘keys to the kingdom’. So, what is an insider threat? And how does Gurucul prevent insiders and criminal impersonators from stealing your sensitive information?

Gurucul’s Chief Operating Officer Craig Cooper discusses the cyber security risks that malicious insiders pose for an organization in the video below.

What is the Definition of an ‘Insider Threat’?

An Insider Threat is an employee or contractor within an organization that is disgruntled or holds some form of resentment against the employer. A malicious insider might be doing something that would normally be outside of their employee responsibilities. This poses a cyber security risk for the organization.

What Are Some Types of Insider Threats?

Most of these types of cyber security threats are from employees that are either on their way out of an organization, or very, very disgruntled. Often, they are holding a grudge against the company. An example of this would be the recent Tesla data breach where a disgruntled employee stole sensitive information. The vengeful employee sabotaged company data while abusing his trusted access to the company’s network.

Another form of insider threat may come in the form of an employee leaving a company. The employee might feel entitled to the intellectual property they created. He/she may want to bring it along with them to their new employer.

Lastly, a compromised account is an insider threat. This is considered an insider threat, and not an outsider threat, because it still comes in the form of looking like a malicious insider. For example, if your password was shared, or perhaps your password was fully compromised, your insider account can be used to do malicious things within the organization.

What are Indicators of a Malicious Insider?

There are many different behaviors that might indicate a potential insider threat. For example, abnormal behavior such as perusing job-hunting websites might indicate that someone is looking to potentially depart the organization. It could be an employee with poor reviews, or someone surfing the internal network. These insiders might be going to source code that hasn’t been accessed for some time; or snooping through company assets like customer lists. Basically, any behavior that strays away from the norm is indicative of a cyber security risk.

How Does a Threat Hunting Solution like Gurucul Risk Analytics Detect and Prevent Cyber Attacks by Insiders?

Gurucul will look at user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) on a normal day-to-day basis and compare that to baseline behavioral data. So, if a user or entity is going to places that they don’t normally go to, that might be a clear indicator of a potential cyber threat. Perhaps they are going to document stores or other types of company assets. Maybe they usually go there once or twice a day but now they’re visiting SharePoint 200-300 times in a very short period. Those types of behaviors are what Gurucul Risk Analytics takes into account when threat hunting for malicious insiders.

Explore Gurucul Risk Analytics and insider threat hunting solutions for your organization. Request a demo with us today!

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