Trustaira Blog
February 20, 2018        Trustaira Staff
Malicious Insider Threat

Malicious Insider Threat


A malicious insider is a trusted insider who abuses his/her privileges in a system to hinder the system’s operations, damage data, or disclose sensitive information which causes damage to the system. Malicious insider threat is one of the most dangerous threats to any organization. By being an insider, he/she have already gotten past your first defense and they might be interested by a desire to make someone pay for passing them over for promotions, bored and looking for something to do, or driven by any of a plethora of other motivations.


It may be surprising, but people can be bribed to give away information, and one of the toughest challenges is someone on the inside who is unhappy with the company and not afraid to profit from it.


This is known as malicious insider threat, and it can be far more difficult to contend with than any outside threat since they already have access—both physical and login—to your systems.


If someone gives out the keys, you won’t necessarily know it has occurred. Those keys can be literal (as in the keys to the back door) or figurative (the keys to decrypt messages).


Just as you must guard your systems from outside attackers, you also must protect them from malicious insiders.


Here are few tips to help reduce the risk of a malicious insider attack:

  • Use role-based access management, in particular on critical systems and for highly privileged users, such as IT administrators. This approach limits the ability of malicious actors to do damage.
  • Don’t make it easy for the malicious insider to steal your data. Monitor and block the movement of sensitive data outside the organization via email, ftp, and via the web.
  • Train employees regularly. The more eyes you have on this area of risk the better.  Help your team understand that “if they see something, say something.”
  • Update your incident response plan to include how to guard against and respond to malicious activities by insiders.  This will definitely need to involve more than just your IT and Security departments – include HR, legal and PR.


Modern cyber security solutions like Privilege Access Management (PAM) , Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM), Data Loss Prevention (DLP) etc can reduce the insider attack risk to some great extent.


LogRhythm SIEM and Security Analytics platform along with Thycotic PAM and Forcepoint DLP can be used to establish a modern cyber security operation center (SOC). A modern SOC with user behavioral analytics capability reduces the risk of malicious insider attack.


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