Cybersecurity Blog: The Cyber Scene is evolving, are you?

Part 4: Training and defined management procedures are critical to program success.

Today’s insider risk programs typically rely solely on mitigation as the remedy to address every insider risk. But this approach leaves out critical measures to address all components of risk.

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Today, organizations invest significant resources to harden their perimeters against exterior attacks. Unfortunately, many of these same companies invest far less to protect themselves against internal threats—individuals who have direct access to sensitive and proprietary information.

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Part 3: Successful insider risk programs begin with good choices—prioritizing what to protect and how to protect it.

While often overlooked as a critical component to enterprise security, the insider threat is difficult to ignore when organizations increasingly lose critical assets (intellectual property, proprietary data, network infrastructure, financial assets, facilities, etc.) due to an individual's theft or negligence.

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Part 2: Communication and documentation contribute to building a successful insider risk program.

When implementing an insider risk program, it is necessary to take foundational measures to integrate both technical and non-technical elements for a truly holistic defense.

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Part 1: Review the first two of eight components to building a successful insider risk detection program that goes beyond network monitoring.

One of the most common questions posed by customers looking to either launch a new insider risk program or improve their existing efforts in threat detection–where do I start? How do I kick-off my insider risk program to go beyond solely network monitoring?

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Many corporations invest significant resources to improve their defenses against external threats but too often fail to adequately protect themselves from internal risks—risks created by insiders with direct access to critical corporate assets. Neutralizing internal threats is as important to strengthening overall security and reducing organizational risk as protecting against external attacks.

Today’s insider risk programs typically rely solely on mitigation as the remedy to address every insider risk. But this approach leaves out critical measures to address all components of risk. To execute a successful insider risk program, the entire organization must be engaged to accurately evaluate key factors that contribute to risk: threats, vulnerabilities, and assets.

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Managing the risks presented by insider threats is, in large part, founded on historical counterintelligence precepts. In this webcast, I discussed three counterintelligence practices for the digital age and how these proven maxims may be translated into controls to enhance your cybersecurity posture.

  1. Be offensive: While today’s threats are ever evolving, one constant is the human element as a primary threat vector. Rather than merely responding to events after-the-fact, get ahead of a potential incident by identifying human threat indicators -- and offer risk treatments before threats materialize to better secure company resources and intellectual property.
  2. Own the street: Historically, physical surveillance kept watch over nefarious activities on our streets, and today we must have the same vigilance of the digital highway. Look to enhance your organization’s situational awareness to defend your assets, personnel, and reputation better.
  3. Don’t ignore analysis: The best insider threat programs have not only sophisticated technology, an established governance structure, and awareness and reporting programs, but also the means to discern the importance of each of these components’ results. It is only through appropriate analysis that data becomes operationalized information. Enhance your risk management operations with on-site teams to meet your analytical requirements from initial operating capability through optimization.
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When it comes to people, processes, and technology, the weakest link is human behavior.

In the wake of various high-profile leaks, human-enabled data breaches, and theft of corporate assets over the last several years, the insider threat topic has received much attention.

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Malicious insiders present real risk to the business. Their inside knowledge and understanding of systems and data make them particularly dangerous, as they are hard to detect and know where the most valuable data resides. Media reports about external threats have thrust cyberattacks into the mainstream, but breaches caused by malicious insiders rarely make headlines. Because insider threats require a top-down approach, executives and boards of directors need education about the threat posed by malicious insiders and how to defend against them. 

Following our webinar with guest speaker Forrester Senior Analyst, Joseph Blankenship, we asked him to address some of the questions from the audience around how security leaders can address insider threats with senior leadership. Below are his responses.

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Insider threats have become a huge problem for organizations around the world – just turn on the news and you’ll see the latest set of compromised companies dealing with the severe consequences of an insider breach – brand damage, lost customers, lost revenue, issuance of regulatory fines, employee safety... and the list goes on and on. 

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