Many organisations talk about Insider Threats, but what are they?

Jul 17, 2023

Insider threats refer to security risks that originate from within a business or organisation. This can range from employees and contractors to former staff and business associates. Here are the ten most common examples of insider threats that companies are currently exposed to:

  1. Data Theft: Employees with access to sensitive data may misuse this privilege by stealing data for their gain or selling it to external parties.
  2. Fraud: Staff with access to company accounts or financial information can potentially commit fraud, leading to significant financial loss.
  3. IP Theft: Intellectual property (IP) theft involves stealing proprietary information or trade secrets. This can lead to the loss of competitive advantage.
  4. Sabotage: Disgruntled employees might intentionally cause harm to the business’s operations or reputation. This could include intentionally impairing systems or spreading harmful information about the company.
  5. Phishing Attacks: Employees can unintentionally expose the company to external threats by falling victim to phishing scams and inadvertently providing access to sensitive data or systems.
  6. Shadow IT: Staff may install or use unauthorised software, apps, or services without IT approval. This can create vulnerabilities that external attackers could exploit.
  7. Misuse of User Privileges: Employees with extensive system access privileges may misuse this power through negligence or malicious intent.
  8. Information Leaks: Whether deliberate or accidental, information leaks can be harmful, especially when it involves sensitive or confidential data.
  9. Negligent Data Handling: Poor data handling practices, like not following data privacy protocols or leaving logged-in devices unattended, can inadvertently expose a company’s sensitive data.
  10. Social Engineering: Internal actors might be coerced into participating in malicious activities through manipulation or deception. They might also be tricked into revealing sensitive information to an adversary.