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Insider Threats Can Happen to Anyone

Written by 
February 20, 2019
March 31, 2020

If one of your employees leaves today, do they have the ability to take sensitive information with them? Chances are that the answer is yes. There are too many stories where malicious employees are able to sabotage organizations with ease. One such example is the Air Force officer that defected to Iran and took “seriously damaging” information with her. After gaining the trust of the country by earning several medals as an officer, she began work as a teach in Afghanistan. Shortly after this, she disappeared. Later it was found that she had converted to Islam and had used to military contacts to provide Iran with highly classified information. In addition to the original leaked information, she also gave hackers the information needed to perform spear phishing attacks on high level military officials. As a result of poor data security, our country is now at risk of attack by a foreign nation.

Spear phishing has one of the highest success rates of any cyberattack in a hacker’s arsenal. Each attack is customized to fit the victim which makes it very hard to prevent. When attackers already have some idea of how systems function and possess information about the users they are trying to impersonate, it makes their job even easier. Once a hacker has gained access to the user’s identity, they are able to then use those credentials to spear phish another user, and so on. This is a very troublesome problem to have because the higher you go in a company, the more high level information you have access to. The military is no different. Generals hold knowledge of attack plans, security, and a plethora of other information that enemies would literally kill for. The easiest way to destroy something is from within.

No one knows where this information will go and ultimately what will be done with it. This is the equivalent of losing your highly important intellectual property in an attack and having to start over from scratch. Once the information is available to anyone other than you, it becomes virtually worthless. Security must be treated with the importance that it deserves. This is not to say that the military does not care about security. Rather, to bring awareness to the fact that there are extra steps that could be taken to prevent attacks on an organization. Insider threats will always be a problem. While many of these threats are not malicious, there will occasionally be ones that are. Malicious insider threats are relatively easy to guard against for most organizations. Many involve disgruntled employees taking digital information from the company and selling it, either on the black market or to competitors. If this information is well protected then the threat can be neutralized even if the employee gains access to the file. Data security has advanced to the point where data can be protected wherever it goes. This includes on flash drives copied from work desktops, Google Drive, Office 365, truly anywhere you can think of.

SecureCircle is a top notch solution for the problem of insider threats. We provide visibility and security for all of your sensitive data using detailed logging and best in class file encryption. If a file is protected, only devices with the SecureCircle client will be able to read it. This neutralizes the problem of employees stealing information and sending it to third parties. If a rogue employee attempts to open a file they shouldn’t have access to, it will be logged in the SecureCircle admin client. These logs can be exported directly to Splunk or other SIEM’s for further analysis. There are threats coming from all directions in today’s increasingly digital business environment. Your organization must be prepared. Visit us at today to find out more about our solution.


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