IAM: How To Protect Your Business From Insider Threats?


According to a recent study by Ponemon Institute, insider threats were responsible for 60% of all data breaches in 2021. Imagine a black sheep among your coworkers, ready to cause chaos with your sensitive data and systems. Scary, right? These insider threats can be on purpose or accidental, nonetheless, they put your data and systems at risk.

In this blog, let us explore insider threats and the role of Identity and Access Management (IAM)  in protecting organizations against them. In this blog, let’s explore insider threats and the role Identity and Access Management (IAM) plays in protecting organizations against them.

What are Insider Threats?

Imagine this: one of your employees steals confidential information or sabotages your computer systems. Or maybe a well-meaning employee accidentally clicks on a suspicious link, inviting malware into your organization. These are insider threats – a security risk from within your organization.

Famous Cyber Incidents Caused by Insiders

Sadly, insider threats have become all too common, leading to high-profile data breaches and security incidents. Let’s look at some of the incidents to understand insider threats better. 

Mailchimp Data Breach (January 2023):

Phishing attacks on Mailchimp employees resulted in the exposure of personal data for over 100 million users. 

Pegasus Airlines Data Breach (June 2022):

A misconfiguration of a cloud bucket at Pegasus Airlines led to the exposure of personal data for over 23 million customers. 

Taco Bell Data Breach (June 2022):

A Taco Bell employee stole customers’ credit card details and used them for personal gain. 

Twitter Data Breach (July 2020):

A few Twitter employees fell prey to a spear-phishing attack, resulting in hackers accessing high-profile user accounts. 

Types of Insider Threats

Insider threats come in various forms, and understanding these categories is essential for implementing effective prevention strategies:

Types of Insiders

Malicious Insiders:

These employees want to purposely harm the organization, driven by greed, revenge, or strong beliefs. They’re always a threat to your business.

Disgruntled Insiders:

Unhappy employees may not mean harm to the organization but accidentally cause trouble with sensitive data or systems because of carelessness. 

Accidental Insiders:

These employees make mistakes without knowing them, putting the organization at risk. It could be falling for tricks like phishing or losing devices with critical data.

Current Trends in Battling Insider Threats:

AI and ML: Can help detect suspicious user behavior (unusual logins, data access, and file transfers).

Zero Trust Security: No default trust for users/devices, constant authentication is required.

Cloud-Based Security: Monitors activity, detects threats, and responds to incidents.

Security Awareness Training: Equips employees to spot and report suspicious activity.

Mitigating Insider Threats with IAM:

One of the most effective ways to safeguard your business from insider threats is to implement Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions. 

IAM can help organizations

  • Set strong access controls to limit data and system access to authorized employees.
  • Spread awareness among employees about cybersecurity risks through training.
  • Monitor employee behavior, tracking logins and network activity for signs of insider threats.
  • Create a detailed response plan to handle insider threat incidents quickly.

IAM Strategies to Protect Your Business

Here are some specific IAM strategies that can help protect your organization from insider threats:

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): RBAC ensures that employees can only access the data they need for their tasks. It limits unauthorized access and keeps sensitive information safe.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)MFA adds extra security to logins by requiring multiple forms of identification. It makes it harder for unauthorized users to get in.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP): DLP monitors communication channels to prevent sensitive data from being leaked or shared without permission. It safeguards your confidential information.

User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA): UEBA monitors user behavior on the network and detects unusual actions that may indicate insider threats. It helps identify potential risks to your data security.

MetroMax Solutions – Industry Experts in IAM Solutions

Book your FREE appointment with our IAM expert to enhance your security measures against insider threats. 

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