GRC Viewpoint

Going Forward, Insider Threats Could Be Significant in Risk Management

It is part of ethical behavior to trust an organization’s employee base. However, in today’s altered scenario, blindly trusting employees may not be a feasible approach.

According to detailed research by Intel, about 43% of all breaches are caused by insider threats. However, such a significant number doesn’t always imply all violations are intentional. Almost half of the insider threats are accidental, and the rest are intentional.

It is high time enterprises across sectors re-evaluate their employee access strategy and bring in changes accordingly.

Insider threats in cyber security are the threats caused by individuals from within an enterprise, including the present or previous employees, partners, and contractors. It is comparatively easier for insiders to access organizational networks and assets. Through this access, hackers will be able to access and disclose sensitive information. Furthermore, they would be able to delete or modify it.

Unintentional insider threats are primarily the result of inadvertent employee errors. It is possible for users to be easy prey to phishing emails or sharing of sensitive data on possibly insecure devices or even USB sticks.

Despite the enormity of the issue, it is a fact that enterprises do not always undertake adequate rectifying measures. A few of the basic approaches that can be implemented urgently include restricting employee access to sensitive data, cloud systems, and used data systems that should be on a pre-requested basis and who access what and when should be analysed and recorded. To sum it up, no employee in an organization should be able to access data or any other systems that are not required to complete their job responsibilities on time.

A single solution might not be sufficient as part of an efficient risk management strategy to curb organizational risk due to insider threats. Instead, a multi-layered solution is the need of the hour.

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