The New Twist On Insider Threats

BeyondTrust, September 6th, 2011

Just when an insider breach couldn’t be any worse for all parties involved – the data has been compromised, customers are upset, the company is embarrassed, it’s a lose-lose for everyone – the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) steps in with a new twist. A fine.

Recently, an employee of Citigroup managed to steal almost $750,000 from 22 customers during the course of eight years, leading FINRA to step in and fine Citigroup $500,000 for failing to keep track of this malicious employee.

What this tells us is that yes, companies need more thorough continuous monitoring practices and need to think more critically about how existing implementations of database activity monitoring (DAM) tools can be better utilized to track user behavior. They also need to improve the way that DAM tools are linked to identity management tools, leading to better tracking of user behavior across systems. But at the end of the day, the real lesson to be learned here is that in order to effectively fight the war against insider threats, IT must be backed by supervisory control.

There isn’t a simple solution to the problem of insider threats, but starting with the right database activity monitoring and privileged identity management policies is a good jumping off point for companies looking to avoid the hassle, the humiliation and now, the fines associated with insider threats.