We hear an awful lot in the news nowadays about the damage insiders are causing to the bottom line and reputation of many high profile organizations. Whether the intentions of the employee are malicious or not, unfettered access to sensitive data can lead to data leakage that is almost impossible to detect with native auditing.
It’s high time that organizations understand the magnitude of insider threats. Big budgets are set aside to defend against hackers and external attacks, but organizations don’t often take the same approach with their internal staff; despite insider threats being the biggest cause of data leakage (in fact as per a report, 60% of companies believe at least some of their trade secrets are likely in the hands of rivals as a result of insiders).
Let’s take a quick look at some of the common security mistakes employees make which can lead data leakage incidents:
Careless handling of data – Accidentally deleting files, sending sensitive information via email to the wrong person or ruining critical assets can all be devastating. In today’s world, data is cash, and it is important that you track how your employees are interacting with it on a regular basis.
Misusing authorized access – With many companies focused on the external threat, often the risks posed by your insiders can be overlooked. It could be a present employee, former employee, contractor, business partner or third party with a legitimate user account. If you have a long list of users with easy access to the network resources, and you don’t monitor their activities, it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong.
Privilege abuse – If your users have been granted excessive levels of privilege, some of them may make unauthorized changes which can affect operations. When permissions spiral out of control, it can be difficult to determine who has access to what and that means you could miss critical changes taking place.
Disruptive access behavior – Users with malicious intents may try to impersonate other users with privileged levels of access to gain access to network resources. Such activities could go undetected until a serious security breach occurs.
Inactive user accounts – Inactive user accounts are one of the most common methods for attackers to penetrate your IT security. Having loads of obsolete accounts cluttering your infrastructure provides a direct path for users to gain access to critical resources.
Poor password security – Weak passwords, or the habit of sharing passwords indiscriminately, both undermine network security. When employees do not follow strict password policies, it allows outsiders to gain access to the internal network with ease.
Abusing rights to access critical resources – Privilege abuse has a monumental effect on the security of your IT infrastructure. Unwanted modifications made to data assets can disrupt normal processes and lead to downtime or data leakage – either way, very costly to fix!
Inadequate monitoring of all the employees – Employees often fail to adhere to security policies set by the organization, which often goes unnoticed. If you’re not monitoring all activities and accesses of your employees, you won’t know about the potential risks until it’s too late.
LepideAuditor – Key to successful monitoring of your Active Directory
A real-time monitoring solution, like LepideAuditor for Active Directory, should be the focal point of your overall IT security strategy. Our advanced auditing solution, with its comprehensive audit reports, is built to address the rising challenges associated with insider threats. You get powerful insight into all the activities taking place in your network, which helps you mitigate the risks of an impending security breach.