SecurityBrief New Zealand logo
New Zealand's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Protecting organisations from insider threats - Bitglass

By Contributor
Fri 5 Jul 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Bitglass Asia Pacific and Japan sales VP David Shephard

The traditional focus of IT security has been on keeping out external threats, but the volume and frequency of security breaches caused by disgruntled, careless or negligent insiders has risen significantly in recent times.

Insider threats pose equally serious threats to organisational security.

The biggest challenge for most external threat actors is gaining access to a target organisation, but insider threats already have this.

As a result, nearly all traditional perimeter security defences are ineffective against them.

Usually, threatening insiders are authorised employees or contractors with valid credentials and physical access to an organisation’s buildings, making it far more difficult for security personnel to protect against them.

Of course, not all insider threats are malicious.

Many are sparked by careless employees who click on harmful email links or attachments without knowing, use unsecured public Wi-Fi, or accidentally leave their laptops in a public place.

Regardless of users’ intentions, any resulting data breach can damage an organisation financially and cause reputational harm.

Cloudy outlook

Evidence suggests that security incidents involving insider threats are on the rise.

In a recent survey by Bitglass, more than two-thirds (73%) of respondents said they believed insider attacks had become more frequent over the past year.

Additionally, 59% of respondents said their own organisations had experienced at least one insider attack in the past 12 months – compared to just 33% the year before.

When asked why they thought this was, the top five answers were:

1)       Insiders have valid credentials (55%)

2)       Increased use of unmanaged applications (44%)

3)       Data being accessed off premises (44%)

4)       More end-user devices susceptible to theft (39%)

5)       Data storage moving to the cloud (36%)

Four of these five reasons relate to moving data off premises and into a growing number of mobile devices and cloud-based applications.

While the business benefits of such actions are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore, so are the associated security risks.

For instance, as more organisations adopt initiatives such as bring your own device (BYOD), it’s becoming much harder for an organisation to ensure a secure data environment and/or spot compromised devices quickly.

As the popularity of the cloud multiplies, the traditional security perimeter has all but disappeared.

Maintaining data security in such an environment requires specialised tools, which many organisations have not adopted.

Some 41% of respondents said they didn’t monitor for abnormal behaviour across their cloud footprints, while 19% did not know whether or not their organisations did.

As a result, only around half of respondents were confident they could detect an insider attack on the day it occurred.

14% said it would take them at least three months to do so, if at all.

What can organisations do?

The unpredictability of insider threats, combined with the complication of cloud environments, means that an integrated, layered solution offers the best defence for organisations.

Below are four core components of such a solution:

1)  Data Loss Prevention (DLP):  Properly integrated cloud DLP enables employees to work when and where they want, while keeping data secure. A good cloud DLP offering includes file encryption, redaction, watermarking/tracking and other tools to ensure that sensitive data remains protected at all times.

2)  Access control and identity management:  Dynamic identity management solutions that integrate with existing systems, manage user access and utilise multi-factor authentication are much more effective than basic password protection.

For example, if a system records an employee logging in from a country where they’ve never authenticated, it can alert IT personnel to suspicious behaviour, helping to secure the account before a breach takes place.

3) Automation:  In cloud-based environments, automated security solutions are becoming increasingly essential – reactive solutions that rely on manual analysis are not fast enough. Fortunately, automated cloud solutions that employ machine learning can identify suspicious behaviour as it is taking place. 

For example, if a user suddenly downloads unusually large amounts of data or logs in and accesses data outside normal working hours, these tools can use an analytical, real-time approach, uncovering anomalous behaviour and taking corrective action as needed.

4) Training:  While technology can be a powerful way to improve an enterprise’s security posture, another effective tool is far simpler. Regular employee training promotes secure business practices and helps to minimise the threat of data theft by reinforcing the severity and consequences of theft and misuse – whether or not those actions are intentional.

The growing adoption of remote working initiatives and cloud-based environments has greatly improved the agility and productivity of modern organisations. 

It has also introduced new security issues. This is particularly true in the case of insider threats.

Many organisations are failing to adapt to these changes in the cybersecurity landscape.

Fortunately, taking the time to understand current risks and addressing them through a cloud-first security solution can allow an enterprise to enjoy the cloud’s benefits while ensuring that its data is safe from insider threats.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Migration
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from IronNet
Michael Ehrlich joins us today to discuss the history of IronNet and the crucial role the company plays in the cyber defence space.
Story image
Cybersecurity
NCSC advisory highlights poor security configurations
The GCSB's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a cyber security advisory identifying commonly exploited controls and practices.
Story image
Malware
New vulnerabilities found in Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report
“Threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics and these exploits tend to get industry attention, but the threat posed by older and attacks still persists."
Story image
Cybersecurity
The 'A-B-C' of effective application security
Software applications have been a key tool for businesses for decades, but the way they are designed and operated has changed during the past few years.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Story image
Qualys
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.
Story image
Apricorn
Data backup plans inadequate, data still at risk - study
The Apricorn 2022 Global IT Security Survey revealed that while the majority organisations have data backup plans in place, data for many are at risk.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Cybersecurity
BlackBerry offers Kaspersky replacement cybersecurity for the channel
BlackBerry advises that users of Kaspersky software in Australia and New Zealand undertake a rigorous risk analysis of their current security posture.
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
SaaS
Absolute Software expands Secure Access product offering
Absolute Software is enhancing its Secure Access product portfolio, enabling minimised risk exposure and optimised user experiences in the hybrid working environment.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
Ransomware
Ingram Micro Cloud adds Bitdefender solutions to marketplace
Ingram Micro Cloud has announced the expanded availability of Bitdefender solutions on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.
Story image
Ivanti
Ivanti and Lookout bring zero trust security to hybrid work
Ivanti and Lookout have joined forces to help organisations accelerate cloud adoption and mature their zero trust security posture in the everywhere workplace.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
SaaS
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Cybersecurity
CyberArk launches $30M investment fund to advance security
CyberArk has announced the launch of CyberArk Ventures, a $30 million global investment fund dedicated to advancing the next generation of security disruptors.
Story image
Remote Working
How zero trust and SD-WANs can support productive remote working
The way people connect with applications and data has changed, users are remotely accessing resources that could be stored anywhere from a corporate data center to the cloud.
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implementations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Story image
Digital Transformation
Physical security systems guide the hybrid workplace to new heights
Organisations are reviewing how data gathered from their physical security systems can optimise, protect and enhance their business operations in unique ways.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Supply chain
Jetstack promotes better security with supply chain toolkit
The web-based resource is designed to help organisations evaluate and plan the crucial steps they need to establish effective software supply chain security.
Story image
Workato
Workato unveils enhancements to enterprise automation platform
"The extra layer of protection with EKM, zero-logging, and hourly key rotation gives customers a lot more visibility and control over more sensitive data."
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
SaaS
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
Story image
Phishing
KnowBe4 celebrates reaching 50,000 customers worldwide
KnowBe4 has reached the milestone of 50,000 customers, adding nearly 2,500 in the first quarter of 2022 alone.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ForgeRock releases Autonomous Access solution powered by AI
ForgeRock has officially introduced ForgeRock Autonomous Access, a new solution that uses AI to prevent identity-based cyber attacks and fraud.
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Microsoft
PwC NZ unveils new Cloud Security Operations Center
PwC New Zealand has unveiled its new Cloud Security Operations Center for the entire Microsoft technology stack.