In today’s world, cybersecurity is becoming one of the biggest concerns of organizations. We can say that technology is a blessing and a threat simultaneously. Apart from the employees, hackers can access the data anytime, which ultimately causes problems. But if you need to protect your data, then it’s crucial to understand the difference between internal and external security threats. So, let’s start by educating ourselves as the first step.
What Is An Internal Security Threat?
The common perception is that hackers are the main reason behind cyber security threats. But mainly, there are two types of security threats:
|Internal security threats||External security threats|
Hackers cause external security threats. But the most ignored thing is the internal threat from employees or contractors. In other words, we call it an insider threat or insider risk. Cyber-attacks are the reason behind half of the data breaches and security threats. According to the Data Breach Investigation Report, a considerable number of attacks are carried out by insiders. So, you can save millions if you want to protect your organization from targeted internal attacks.
Top examples of internal security threats:
There are hundreds of categories in which you could be a victim of an internal security threat. Here are a few examples of threats becoming big problems for modern organizations.
|Social media attacks||Unsecure and systems that are poorly secured||Social engineering|
|Malware on endpoints||Lack of encryption||Security misconfiguration|
All these attacks could be active or passive, and for prevention, we need to know the difference between both. Here is a small table that defines the difference between both:
|Active attacks||Passive attacks|
|Interruption||Doesn’t make changes|
|Modification||Threat to the confidential data|
|Fabrication||It doesn’t directly cause damage to the organizational system|
|Victims know about the attacks||Victims don’t know about attacks|
|The focus is detection and mitigation.||Focus is prevention|
However, information security protects the organization from malicious attacks in this situation. If you are in the USA, many laws protect people from cyber security threats.
How To Protect Data From Internal Security Threats?
An organization can face insider threats from anyone, including employees, contractors, business associates, etc. These activities could harm your business; that’s why it’s crucial to keep your data secure. You can evaluate whether data needs to be backed up or stored off-site with the aid of an expert in data protection like Corodata. In the meantime, you can take the following precautions against internal security risks.
Prioritize effective communication:
Most of the time, vulnerability emerges when there is poor communication in the organization. However, if you are a leader, the best thing is to improve your communication skills within the organization. This way, you can explain the detailed message in the most accessible way, and employees will not lose interest. Sometimes, employees don’t understand the vulnerabilities if they cannot explain the message. So, you can avoid data leakages by explaining the importance of the sensitivity of the information. Apart from this, guide your employees that they shouldn’t click on suspicious links as it can lead to a data breach on a larger scale.
Don’t allow data sharing outside the company:
Data breaches happen when employees share confidential information with others. The sensitive information comes under the tag of intellectual property, and it should be protected under data protection laws. When info is sent to the wrong email address or posted publicly, internal threats often occur due to carelessness. But organizations can easily avoid these types of threats by training employees. Many data loss prevention software helps keep track of data, whether shared through emails or other internet services.
Backup your data:
If you want to avoid cyberattacks, then don’t forget to back up all data because, in this way, you can recover information at any time. Sometimes, internal threats happen when there is an issue with computers. However, the data backup tools are cheap, and it’s recommended to use multiple backup methods for extra protection. Here are the following features that you should investigate in a sound backup system:
|Daily incremental backups||End-of-week backups on the server|
|Quarterly server backups||Yearly backups|
So, make it a habit, as it’s crucial for data protection. Check stub maker is a prime example of data protection and automated tools. Apart from this, it’s necessary to have multi-factor authentication. This way, employees can’t use unauthorized devices like USBs or other portable devices to steal data.
Adopt ZERO TRUST policy:
ZERO TRUST is a new security concept in which an organization will not trust anyone, whether internal or external, information. In this setup, it will be verified first if someone tries to access the company’s system. However, this approach comes with a tagline:
“Untrusted until proven trustworthy.”
But it’s vital to monitor the users and permissions long-term. It’s critical to update all internal software and firmware with the latest updates to keep them safe from vulnerability.
Disable departing employees’ accounts:
It’s another drawback that leads to an internal security threat. Organizations create accounts when employees join the organization. But the accounts of people no longer working with the organization should be deleted and deactivated. Apart from this, don’t forget to change the password as soon as possible. Employees can take internal data intentionally or unintentionally when they leave or sack. So, the IT department should have a protocol to ensure that everything is protected when an employee leaves.
Implement session timeouts:
It’s a great way to protect systems and data from internal threats. The internal timeout sessions maintain security when employees aren’t around their desks. If users stay logged in for longer, they can give access to someone else who may sneak into the system as a new user.
Apart from this, there are many other tips and tricks that you can use to protect organizations from internal security threats.
- Disable unnecessary services
- Restrict access to critical information
- Use voice analytics to access risk
- Implement security awareness training in the organization
- Educate and train employees
- Have the right tools where security is a priority
Cyber security is the future as many organizations are facing internal threats. Thus, it doesn’t matter if you are an owner, manager, or IT expert; take measures to protect data from internal phishing attacks.