Cyber as a Culture: Four Steps To Mitigate Insider Threats – TheStreet

Prevent costly cybersecurity threats
Insider cybersecurity incidents, in which individuals take advantage of authorized access to a company’s systems, have always been costly. Over the years, a series of high-profile companies have fallen victim to insider attacks. Target lost US $300 million after cyber criminals accessed 40 million payment card numbers and 70 million personal data accounts via a refrigeration vendor. The New York Post scrambled to undo the damage done to its reputation after one of its employees posted a series of unapproved messages to its social accounts. Marriott paid £18.4 million after an insider threat exposed private customer data and violated GDPR guidelines.
By some accounts, these insider threats are at a recent high. According to Kroll, a risk and financial advisory service that publishes intermittent security reports, the rate of insider threats rose from 24 to 35 per cent of unauthorized threat incidents between Q2 and Q3. Kroll’s analysts hypothesized that remote work and rapid job switching increased insider threats. (Recently laid-off or remote employees may be more likely to copy data, delete files, and work with bad actors.) But insider threats also originate from third-party vendors, agencies, and data storage partners: anyone authorized to access company data may be a threat vector.
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Even more sophisticated conventional cybersecurity measures leave businesses open to insider attacks. When employees have legitimate access to systems, barriers are less effective. Insiders use access codes to bypass virus checkers, malware detectors, and firewalls, scan Post-It notes where employees list their strongest passwords, and hijack corporate accounts to download valuable assets and private customer information. To control what Professor Sadie Creese calls “the doors that leave organizations vulnerable to insider attacks”, business leaders adopt more comprehensive security cultures.
To address insider threats, Professor Sadie Creese, who researches security architectures and threat detection, prompts leaders to move beyond conventional, isolated tactics. As Creese and her colleague explain in Harvard Business Review, cyber-first leaders equip all employees, not just IT departments, with comprehensive cybersecurity skill sets, tools, and mindsets. Embed cybersecurity into your company culture with a few key steps.
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