The Silent And
Damaging Threat From Within Organizations - The Insider Threat
What Is Insider Threat? There are many definitions of Insider Threats. The example listed
below is one of many definitions.
The potential for an individual that will use their authorized or
unauthorized access, wittingly or unwittingly, to do harm to the
security of organizational operations (Facilities, Computer Networks,
Etc.), that can impact the organization through the loss or degradation
of organizational resources or capabilities.
Who Is An Insider?
Trusted Business Partners / Sub Contractors
Individual(s) With Trusted Access To The Organization Assets
Insider Threat Incidents Can Be Caused By
Just 1 Employee
Multiple Employees' In Collusion
Employees' In Collusion With External Cyber Criminals / Co-Conspirator(s)
Why Are Organizations So Vulnerable To The Insider Threat?
What Advantages Do Insiders (Employees') Have Over Cyber Criminals?
Insiders Have Authorized Access To An Organization Facilities
Insiders Have A Login / Password To Access Computer Systems / Networks
Insiders Know What Data In An Organization Has The Most Value And Where
It Is Stored
Access To Financial Information / Bank Accounts And Know How To Exploit
Weaknesses To Their Benefit
Insiders Know The Security Weaknesses Of An Organization That Are
Overlooked, Ignored And Could Be Exploited For Malicious Purposes
Insider Threat Damages
damages caused to U.S. National Security and businesses by Malicious
Insiders has been severe. Insider Threat incidents are usually not
covered in the news, and they happen a lot more frequently then most
people realize. Financial damages from Insider Threat incidents can be
in the MILLIONS To BILLIONS!!!.
Examples Of Damages / Impacts
Government Or Corporate Espionage
Financial Loss (Loss Of Trade Secrets / Data Theft, Fraud Schemes,
Operational Impact For The Organization To Execute Its Mission (IT /
Network Sabotage, Data Destruction, Sabotage To Facility, Etc.)
Legal, Compliance & Liability Impacts
Damages To Organizations Reputation
Loss Of Customers
Stock Price Reduction
Workplace Violence (WPV) (To Include Bullying / Sexual Harassment That
Turns Into WPV)
Workplace Culture -
Impact On Employees’
Employees Lose Jobs / Company Goes Out Of Business
Insider Threat Incidents Reports Many employees come to work everyday with the best of intentions to
work hard and help their organization be the best it can be. But lurking
in the shadows could be Trusted Employees' on the verge of becoming
Some senior leaders in organizations may downplay or ignore the Insider
Threat problem, and may not want to invest any additional time,
resources or funding to support the development of an Insider Threat
In many cases upper management has not been briefed on how damaging
JUST 1 Insider Threat incident could be to the organization.
Ignoring or discounting the severity of the Insider Threat problem, can
end up causing very serious problems for an organization.
While some CEO's may look at an Insider Threat Program as a cost to the
organization, an Insider Threat Program should be looked at as proactive
program to protect the organization from serious incidents, financial
impacts or dire consequences caused by employees'.
The capabilities of a disgruntled or opportunist employee can be very
sophisticated and should never be underestimated. An employee can sit
silently and morph into the company's worst nightmare before they
realize the damages that have been done.
Some organizations invest thousands of dollars in securing their data,
computers and networks against Insider Threats, from primarily a
technical perspective, using Network Security Tools or Insider Threat
Detection Tools. But the Insider Threat problem is not just a technical
Insider Threat Incidents Reports (Produced Monthly) by the National
Insider Threat Special Interest Group (NITSIG), provide an EYE
OPENING view of the severe damages that are being caused by
Malicious or Opportunist employees'.
These reports serve as an excellent Insider Threat Awareness Tool to
educate CEO's, Key Stakeholders supporting the Insider Threat Program,
and the workforce on on the dangers of not reporting employees' who may
pose a risk or threat to the organization.
Mission / Overview
The mission of the NITSIG is to serve
as a Trusted Partner / Information Sharing And Analysis Center for
Insider Threat Mitigation.
continues to be a growing demand for individuals to manage or
support Insider Threat Programs.