Insider threats normally occur during occasions when individuals with authorized closer contact to an organization misuse the privilege or access to the organization's information and systems. This eventually exposes the organization to various security risks. The mentioned persons need not be exactly as an employee as the same risks can also be witnessed with third party persons, partners, and contractors to the organization to ensure that there is early detection of insider threats within an organization or company as it plays an essential role in achieving the organizations' operational objectives and goals.
Types of Insider Threats
This type of insider relates to an individual who deliberately and illegally comes into possession of data with ill intentions such as harming the system. In most frequent cases, contractors and employees are major participants of this threat (Agrafiotis, Nurse, Buckley, Legg, Creese, Goldsmith, 2015). This is because they are ever present on the network since they are in possession of relevant credentials enabling them to access the network systems but they consistently abuse this legitimate mandate.
This entails a regular employee who may have accidentally engaged in a work-related mistake which eventually exposes the organization to various security risks. These mistakes may include accidental loss of a work laptop or accidental sending of crucial company information to a wrong individual. The information contained in the above accidental occurrences is thereby left in the hands of possible hackers who may possess malicious intentions to the organization.
Unlike the turn cloak who is an organization officially authorized employee with a new malicious mode of conduct, an imposter relates to an outsider in possession of an insider's system and information credentials. In general, they are ever-present on the organization network system operating as official employees.
This constitute of the limited number of employees who do not respond to awareness from training activities. Most of this user does not perform their allocated duties negligently hence forming the section of the riskiest workforce personnel to an organization or company. This is because their mode of operations during duty performance is highly predictable and associated with a particular set of patterns which can be easily foreseen by hackers. From the previous research conducted by Verizon, it was evident that about 4.2% of the phishing campaign targeted individuals normally have a click on links associated with malicious activities. From this result, individuals who had been trapped by the phishing campaign prey possess character traits depicting possibilities of continuous phishing in the near future.
The most common form of insider threat has always been characterized by simple negligence. Additionally, negligence has also formed a single entity associated with the employee-related risk that has been very expensive for most organizations to counter. A number of insider threats incorporated within this category show secure conduct which adheres to the stipulated policies but rather results to breaches originating from isolated errors. Examples of these isolated errors include common misjudgment i.e. a decision involving storage of intellectual property on personal devices that are not secure together with becoming a victim of phishing trap schemes. Several patterns have been shown by the X-force analysis about the commonly applied tactics employed by criminals with an aim of exploiting errors possessed by employees in the recent past. These patterns include:
- An average of 38% external based actors' exercised efforts aimed at tricking users into clicking or accessing malicious links or attachments.
- Man in the middle attacks attempts constituted 35% of the external risks.
- Exploitation of misconfigured servers constituted 27% of external threats (Agrafiotis, 2015)
This involves insider collaboration with external based malicious external threat initiators. It is the less frequent mode of criminal risk associated insiders. Despite its limited frequency, it still forms an essential threat because of the consistent employee recruitment attempts by the professional cybercriminals. This is normally conducted through the dark web. In addition, this form of insider breach constitutes one of the most expensive breaches in a company set up as it is difficult to detect and control. Among the incidents initiated by the insiders, insider collusion forms about 48% of the incidents whereas insider to outsider collusion constitutes of 16% according to the community emergency response team research report on the frequency of the collusion (Legg, Buckley, Goldsmith, & Creese, 2015).
Persistent Malicious Insiders
A good number of criminal insiders usually engage in exfiltration of data together with other related malicious activities with sole a sole aim of extracting financial benefits from these activities. According to research conducted by the Gartner study team, it was evident that most criminal insider threats, about 62 %, stands a possibility of being categorized as second streamers who possess the motive of generating an additional income (Legg, Buckley, Goldsmith, & Creese, 2015). 14 % of the insider was realized to be in the leadership role whereas slightly less than a half were witnessed to be crucial or sensitive data assessors. In order to minimize the chances of detection, most of these insiders deliberately show sophistication hence maximizing personal gains relating to the theft of data. Their actions include slow exfiltration of data into individual accounts with an aim of avoiding detection rather than engaging in large data volume exports which stands a chance of raising suspicions in most common monitoring tools for network systems.
This group of insiders involves a section of company employees who engage in an elaborate intellectual theft of property belonging to a company or an organization. In relation to research conducted by the Gartner, about 29% of insider employees engage in an unauthorized acquisition of information mostly after the exit of work or duty obligations mainly through firing (Senator et al., 2013). Theses malicious efforts are normally based on personal gains and benefits whereas 9% are encouraged by simple concepts of sabotaging. Unsettled and unsatisfied group of company employees are normally exposed to various malicious behavioral patterns of conduct.in certain occasions, employees who are frustrated reach a limit of extracting or looking for particular information without any clear objectives. Others also dig into information with an aim of selling such information to the ill full competitors.
Insider Technology Detections
Database Activity Monitoring Software
This is software that helps organizations to audit the activities and logs of the database. The software prevents unauthorized activity by signaling an incident of security breaches of the database (Agrafiotis et al., 2015). Internal threats have made organizations to increasingly deploy this software as a way of avoiding to treat each employee with mistrust. According to experts in the security sector, this software has to be tuned and fed instructions and rules to enable it to give an alert in case such rules are breached.
This is technology software that only allows authorized codes that are executable to run in the endpoint of a system. In this way, the software gives the system administrators more application control and privileges. According to security experts, by signaling on every executable software that arrives on the endpoint of the system help open software vulnerability from being targeted by malware (Legg, Buckley, Goldsmith, & Creese, 2015). Whitelisting software also helps monitor suspicious activity of the underlying system process. It does in conjunction with network security system by analyzing files and examines any suspicious behavior.
Network Flow Analysis
This new technology help prevents insider threat by monitoring network traffic and signaling a suspicious incident of security threats or activities. This technology work by monitoring the organization data that flows within the switches, routers of the network systems. This software is able to capture communication between the control server -botnet command and infected PC and give an alert (Agrafiotis et al., 2015). Network analytics is a big boost to organizations because it helps IT professionals and forensics to monitor the behavior of data along the network traffic providing a near real-time detection on any malicious activity on the network.
Log Analysis, Security Information Management
According to security experts and forensic data analyst, log analysis, security information management software, is a new technology that is able to proactively monitor system event logs. Proactively monitoring system logs help data from being stolen by helping incident responders contain the threats quickly and at early stages of intrusion. This technology is also able to detect configuration weakness and the system vulnerability that attackers could use to breach the system.
Data Loss Prevention Software
This is software that enforces policies for data handling in an organization. It ensures that employees handle data securely at the endpoint. It does so by identifying confidential data and its owners and prevents exposed data from leaking. The software also does not allow employees to copy data into flash drives (Agrafiotis et al., 2015). Additionally, it ensures data is encrypted before it gets uploaded to any authorized web-based system from the organization servers or networks. This is possible through a cloud-based data loss prevention system.
Insider Threat Detection Algorithms
The security of modern organization network system plays a vital function in the success of these organizations. Unlike before, most of the system threats originate from within the system as opposed to the external access. From the previous concluded research, it is evident that game theoretic approach makes the main source data relating to insider threat whereas insider online activities form the common applied feature in the detection of insider threat (Stephens & Maloof, 2014). Additionally, most surveys depicted single point estimates of the likelihood of threat together with graph algorithms as frequently used insider threat prediction and detection tools.
Insider Threat Detection Behavioral Analysis
Monitoring User's Activity
An organization can use various techniques such as system information event management to monitor the logs of all employees hence monitoring data that an employee or any user of the system is accessing or attempting to access and evaluate the threat he or she poses to the organization.
Using corporate video surveillance system, the management can monitor the behavior of every employee within every point of corporate premises. That data can be then analyzed to assess the threat level of the employees.
Screening of potential employees plays a big role in detecting and preventing insider threats (Legg et al, 2013). This is normally achieved through conducting background retrieval of information and history relating to the employee for any suspicious or engagement in the unlawful activity. This eventually protects an organization from any act or culture associated with insider threats mode of conduct.
Position Based Screening
This type of screening generally aims at verifying the provided information by the employee during work resumptions and applications. It is mainly conducted to confirm wh...
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