Insider Threats in Cyber Security Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  904 Words
Date:  2022-09-15

The current insider threats to computer systems and infrastructures have increased significantly regarding the numbers cost potential problems because of continuous technological development. Cybercrime has become a common occurrence and a major threat to the virtual data storage. As people and organizations automate their management systems and data storage; they become more vulnerable to cyber threats especially from the hackers who may infringe into the data system and use such information for malicious use (Gheyas, & Abdallah, 2016). Cybersecurity is an important element in the current digital economy considering that most of the threats emerge from within as opposed to the past where external threats were the major concerns. Predicting and detection of insider threats is an important mitigation measure that can save companies from a huge loss. Another example on how he insider threats can be costly to an organization includes a scenario where the election system of a nation is hacked into and data transmission altered (Gheyas, & Abdallah, 2016). Alternatively, the most damaging integrity attack involves a case where the incorrect data is injected into the SCADA system. In such a case, the organization is likely to incur a huge loss as a result of the insider attack (Homoliak, Toffalini, Guarnizo, Elovici, & Ochoa, 2018).

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Damages to the data integrity can cause serious problems than the concerns associated with confidentiality breach. For instance, when a hacker alters the medical record system, the hospital may end up giving wrong medications to patients; as a result, this may lead to increased mortality and damaged hospital reputation (Hunker & Probst, 2013). The other loss associated with the insider threats is a confidentiality breach. Therefore, real-time attack detection is an important defense layer target for companies because it ensures minimal loss in case of the insider attack (Gheyas, & Abdallah, 2016).

Security threats mainly emerge from the people inside the organization. Although the outsiders may also hack into the organization's system, they may sometimes use the people within the organization to access important data and information they use to infringe the data system of the targeted organization. The attacks from insiders are caused by employees, suppliers, and other contracted personnel in the in the organization. Mostly, these people have access to the organization's computer system, and they may have entrusted with the password and security information (Gheyas, & Abdallah, 2016). There are various measures use to encrypt an organization's data to limit access; therefore, people with such security information can easily access the data and manipulate for their benefits in case they decide to do so. Also, the insiders know the internal operation of the company as they are endowed with rights and privileges to mount the attack that an outsider could have found difficult to commit.

The insider attacks are difficult to detect because the insiders can make them look like normal operations. However, they may infiltrate false data into the system for their gain; this may take time before being detected because there will be no interruptions in the data system operations. The insider attacks are conducted by people of high profile and who are entrusted by the organizations and companies (Homoliak, et al., 2018).

Companies may be forced to spend more in limiting and thwarting insider attacks over the future. The insider threat is becoming a major potential source of loss to the companies; therefore, spending huge money in the area will not be a loss. Some of the practices that can be adopted by the company to limit insider attacks include instituting a periodic enterprise-wide risk assessment (Hunker & Probst, 2013). The process will help companies to identify the critical assets and define risk management strategies for ensuring that the assets are protected from both insider and outsiders. Alongside the assessment, companies may also be required to conduct training and cyber threat awareness as well as enforce duty separation and least privilege measures. It is important that all employees understand the cybersecurity policies and procedures so that they are enforced at each stage of operation in the firm. The effective duty separation and least privilege strategies ensure that individuals are only authorized to access the data they need for the delivery of their duties and responsibilities (Homoliak, et al., 2018).

The other measures involve data encryption and the use of password keys. The password keys limit the ability of the system users to access data beyond their authorized limit. Also, the periodic logging should be monitored and audited accordingly. The regular monitoring helps the organization to discover and investigate any malicious activities before incurring serious consequences. Also, the vigilance and monitoring must also be devoted to the user entrusted with the password and security information to the company's systems (Gheyas, & Abdallah, 2016). Finally, both physical and security policies are essential in thwarting insider threats in companies. Apart from the two measures, firms must also screen new employees before entrusting them with the security information. The screening ensures that they have the right people in the company and can entrust them with vital information with suffering any risk or threat.


Gheyas, I. A., & Abdallah, A. E. (2016). Detection and prediction of insider threats to cyber security: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. Big Data Analytics, 1(1), 6.

Homoliak, I., Toffalini, F., Guarnizo, J., Elovici, Y., & Ochoa, M. (2018). Insight into Insiders: A Survey of Insider Threat Taxonomies, Analysis, Modeling, and Countermeasures. arXiv preprint arXiv:1805.01612.

Hunker, J., & Probst, C. W. (2013). Insiders and Insider Threats-An Overview of Definitions and Mitigation Techniques. JoWUA, 2(1), 4-27.

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