The Outside Insider Threat

BeyondTrust, July 26th, 2011

Gone are the days when insider threats meant you either had a malicious employee or someone made a mistake; in today’s world the insider threat is far more complex, often starting from the outside and working its way in.

Now, criminal hackers are taking a new approach to infiltrating organizations by using digital versions of old-fashioned con games – gain the trust of an employee, sometimes by pretending to be a fellow co-worker, and entice them to share sensitive information, such as a password, that will allow the hacker to gain access to the companies’ information. In situations like this having the right privilege identity management policies in place can mean the difference between protecting your organization and facing a major security risk.

In a recent survey by Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, almost 80 percent of participating chief information security officers said they worried more about the threat of humans, rather than technology, to their IT infrastructure. By only allowing employees access to information that is necessary for them to perform their jobs, organizations are limiting the amount of people who know sensitive access information, such as passwords, thus mitigating the risk of that information being shared with the wrong person.

Human error is inevitable, but there are steps that organizations can take to best equip themselves for dealing with the nature of today’s technologically advanced online criminals.