Most security solutions are designed to protect against outside threats. However, research shows business owners should focus more on insider attacks.
According to a study conducted by Cybersecurity Insiders, 90 percent of organizations feel at risk of an insider attack, with 53 percent of respondents saying they’ve experienced an insider attack within the last 12 months.
To help your business prevent insider attacks, we’ll explain exactly what these threats are, and what you can do to limit your risk of an attack.
What Is an Insider Attack?
An insider cyber attack is caused by an internal source like an employee, and is categorized into two types: malicious or accidental.
A malicious insider attack is when an insider deliberately steals or compromises data from the company they work for. On the contrary, an accidental attack is when an insider unintentionally causes harm by being careless or negligent with company cyber practices.
Although many people associate insider attacks with malicious users, cyber security experts believe accidental exposure is the biggest vulnerability. This is because hackers often infiltrate a system through a phishing attack. These attacks trick employees into sharing sensitive business information through emails that often include malware attachments or links to compromised websites.
Insider attacks are also caused by cyber security and data risks, including:
- Unrestricted password sharing practices
- Unlocked devices
- Unsecure Wi-Fi networks
- Weak passwords
The longer a threat goes undetected, the more it costs to resolve the damage. Employees are usually unaware when they’ve opened a malicious email or visit a compromised website.
Prevent Insider Attacks
Although insider attacks may seem difficult to prevent, there are strategies your business can implement for added levels of protection.
- Educate employees. Provide employees with training and resources that overview the importance of cyber security and best practices.
- Encrypt data. This cyber security tactic disguises data as it’s shared across networks, which makes it extremely difficult to hack.
- Implement proper password management practices. Enable two-factor-verification and use complex passwords to add a second layer of security and reconfirm a user’s identity every time they log in. Change passwords every six months and make sure they contain upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
- Install antivirus software. This is probably the simplest way to protect your business from an attack. Antivirus software is a program you can download onto your system to continuously scan for viruses or malicious files.
- Partner with a security vendor that offers managed network services. This service helps you control the performance and security of your business networks with 24/7 management, change control, monitoring and network operations support.
- Update all software and devices. With outdated software, hackers are able to identify vulnerabilities and gain access to your system.
Prevent insider attacks with these tips and contact a trusted security expert if you have any questions regarding your business’ cyber security.