Insider Risk is defined as  “The risk an insider is any person with authorized access to an organization’s resources to include personnel, facilities, information, equipment, networks, or systems”.

A lot of organizations struggle with insider risk because the very nature of the risk comes from those who you trust with your systems and authorizations. From disgruntled employ to espionage, a gamete of actors, factors, and situations can lead to insider risk. An often-overlooked example of insider risk is the risk we ourselves impose to our systems. For example, One might not mean to CC someone from without the organization, so it’s critical to understand that not all Insider Risk is malicious.

The Department of Homeland Security National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center advises that “insider threats, to include sabotage, theft, espionage, fraud, and competitive advantage are often carried out through abusing access rights, theft of materials, and mishandling physical devices.”

To continue, another big aspect of insider threat, depending on your organization, is the topic of terrorism.

“Terrorism as an insider threat is an unlawful use of force and violence by employees or others closely associated with organizations, against those organizations to promote a political or social objective.  In particular, insiders will use their familiarity of an organization’s structure, security, building layout, and other knowledge to maximize casualties or sabotage systems.” 

Organizations are encouraged to increase their awareness of terrorists and other actors involved in an organizational field to help recognize behavior associated with a particular group and action.


Assess Suspicious Behavior & Respond Appropriately (Technology)

To start, collect and analyze information that goes into and out of your organizational assets. Assets are continuously changing, and from a variety of data sources.  Combining technology that can capture, index, and correlate data with insider risk analysis can better enable insider threat detection and mitigation against potential losses..  

Recognize and Report Anomalous Behavior for Insider Risk (Workforce)

Now that your assets collected and analyzed, create an engaged workforce trained to recognize, and report suspicious behavior or activity as to help defend against and identify insider threats. 

To continue, Some examples of high-risk behaviors included below. While there are many more, a combination of any should cause reason for concern:   

  • Extremist ideology or fascination with terrorist organizations
  • Abrupt change in personality or social engagement
  • Angry outburst or hateful comments about co-workers or organization

Protect the Organization’s Critical Assets

Critical assets are the organizational resources essential to maintaining operations and achieving the organization’s mission.  An insider threat program can protect these vital assets from malicious insiders or the unintended consequences from a complacent workforce. Identify and document organizational assets while also prioritizing protection to your most critical ones.

Establish an Insider Risk Policy

Furthermore, building an insider threat policy can help organizations detect, deter, and respond to threats stemming from insider threat. The policy developed will be tailored to your organization, as there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution.

To add, the list below provides an idea of things to include while you establish an effective insider threat policy.

Some steps to include:

  • Create an Insider Threat Working team
  • Develop Organizational Policy Documents for Insider Threat
  • Implement a Training and Awareness Programs
  • Create an Insider Threat Program Office

There are many more ways to protect your organization from Insider threat.

Contact Ascension Global Technology to learn more.


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