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Insider vs. Outsider Data Security Threats

Heloise Montini

Heloise Montini

Heloise Montini is a content writer whose background in journalism make her an asset when researching and writing tech content. Also, her personal aspirations in creative writing and PC gaming make her articles on data storage and data recovery accessible for a wide audience.

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Laura Pompeu

Laura Pompeu

With 10 years of experience in journalism, SEO & digital marketing, Laura Pompeu uses her skills and experience to manage (and sometimes write) content focused on technology and business strategies.

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Bogdan Glushko

Bogdan Glushko

CEO at SalvageData Recovery, Bogdan Glushko has over 18 years of experience in high-security data recovery. Over the years, he's been able to help restore data after logical errors, physical failures, or even ransomware attacks, for individuals, businesses, and government agencies alike.

Socials:

data security, data safety, data loss, data protection, data loss prevention, cyberattack, cybercrime, cybersecurity, hacker attack, hacking, ransomware, insider threat, outsider threat
Heloise Montini

Heloise Montini

Heloise Montini is a content writer whose background in journalism make her an asset when researching and writing tech content. Also, her personal aspirations in creative writing and PC gaming make her articles on data storage and data recovery accessible for a wide audience.

Socials:

Laura Pompeu

Laura Pompeu

With 10 years of experience in journalism, SEO & digital marketing, Laura Pompeu uses her skills and experience to manage (and sometimes write) content focused on technology and business strategies.

Socials:

Bogdan Glushko

Bogdan Glushko

CEO at SalvageData Recovery, Bogdan Glushko has over 18 years of experience in high-security data recovery. Over the years, he's been able to help restore data after logical errors, physical failures, or even ransomware attacks, for individuals, businesses, and government agencies alike.

Socials:

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Your business data, among other things, is the driving force behind its improvement, innovation, and competition of it. You can’t work without critical data. And there are data regulations to protect your company’s and its clients’ sensitive data. Unfortunately, you have to deal with insider and outsider data security threats daily.

Data determines the management effectiveness and overall success of an enterprise. Also, data recoverability is just as important as data loss prevention to avoid business disruption.

Once a proper understanding of the current tendencies and demand comes into play, it can get your offer closer to your target audience’s needs. It can noticeably increase the ROI of your company. Also, make it many times easier for you to take control of your positions in the rivalry.

At the same time, however, the consequences related to data loss, data theft, or leakage, increase proportionally to the value of that information.

This is why, given our today’s customer-centric, digitally-driven world, it is in your immediate interest to do everything possible to mitigate potential risks.

What are Insider Threats

Insider Threats, also known as Malicious Insider, are mostly associated with former or current employees, contractors, and collaborators. It can also refer to other business partners that are well aware of where the sensitive information is stored, and how it is protected.

The motivations behind insider threats vary and can include personal gain, revenge, coercion by external parties, ideological beliefs, or disgruntlement with the organization.

Insider threats can result in financial losses, reputational damage, legal and regulatory consequences, disruption of operations, and compromise of sensitive data.

To mitigate insider threats, organizations implement various measures, including access controls, regular security awareness training, monitoring of user activities, segregation of duties, and incident response plans.

It’s important for organizations to have a comprehensive insider threat mitigation strategy that includes proactive monitoring, detection, and response mechanisms to minimize the risk posed by insiders.

What are Outsider Threats

Outsider risks are mainly associated with active cyberattacks and hacker gangs or passive ones involving tracking users or eavesdropping on the network.

Cyber Espionage, Cyber Warfare, and Hacktivism are the most common cyber threats. These threats are often financially motivated, with the goal of stealing money or valuable information.

Understanding of tactics and methods used by hackers is particularly crucial for mitigating the potential risks since these attackers are aggressive and persistent.

To avoid falling victim to outsider threats, organizations should invest in high-quality cybersecurity systems and ensure that everyone in the organization understands how cyber hacking works and stays vigilant at all times. It is important to note that insider and outsider threats can overlap, with external actors often taking advantage of insiders’ mistakes.

Insider vs Outsider Threats

Both insider and outsider threats can cause significant damage to an organization but in different ways.

Insider threats come from individuals within the organization who have authorized access to sensitive data and systems. They can be either malicious insiders who intentionally seek to harm the organization, or non-malicious insiders who unintentionally cause damage due to negligence or lack of awareness. The damage caused by insider threats can include data breaches, leakage of sensitive information, loss of intellectual property, disruption of operations, reputational harm, and financial losses. Insider threats can be particularly damaging due to their knowledge of the organization’s systems and processes, which can make their activities harder to detect and prevent.

On the other hand, outsider threats originate from individuals outside the organization who do not have authorized access to its systems and data. These threats often involve attempts to gain unauthorized access through methods such as hacking, phishing, or malware. Outsider threats can result in similar types of damage as insider threats, including data breaches, disruption of operations, and financial losses. However, they may be less likely to result in the loss of intellectual property, as outsiders typically have less knowledge of the organization’s internal systems and processes.

Insider cyber threats

Data Security Threats, Data Safety, Data Security, Insider Threat

Insider Threats can be portioned out into 5 main categories:

Nonresponders

This refers to staff members that are immune to security training. Not usually ill-intentioned, they still can end up involved in security breaches caused by their negligence, or mere unknowingness. Studies reveal that users who have fallen prey to phishing schemes in the past are more likely to go down that road again.

Inadvertent actors

These are workers that unintentionally cause breaches due to misjudgments, forgetfulness, or accidents while being in general compliant with policy and showing good security behaviors.

Insider collusion

A couple of engineers stealing product plans and then quitting to embark on their competitor’s enterprise is a good example of insider collusion. It also applies to employees recruited by cybercriminals (usually to steal information).

Persistent malicious actors

These refer to workers that seek additional income. Instead of performing large data transfers that may raise flags in traditional network monitoring tools, these are more likely to be exfiltrating data to avoid detection and maximize the personal benefits.

Disgruntled employees

The last category may refer to many behavioral sub-patterns. But is ordinarily focused on frustrated employees. And telic, deliberate sabotage, or intellectual property theft they commit.

Mostly, attackers tend to focus on the Nonresponders and Inadvertent Actors categories as they represent an exploitable vulnerability. It is important to conceive that insider risks include, but aren’t limited to just employees. Those can also be colleagues, suppliers, contractors, or even volunteers that work for the company.

Outsider cyber threats

Data Security Threats, Data Safety, Data Proctection, Outsider Threats, Ransomware, Hacking

Phishing attacks

These attacks involve tricking people into giving away sensitive information or installing malicious software.

Ransomware attacks

These attacks involve encrypting a company’s data and demanding payment in exchange for the decryption key.

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks

These attacks involve overwhelming a company’s servers with traffic, making them inaccessible to legitimate users.

Malware attacks

These attacks involve infecting a company’s systems with malicious software that can steal data or damage systems.

Social engineering attacks

These attacks involve manipulating people into divulging sensitive information or performing actions that compromise security.

State-sponsored attacks

These attacks involve foreign governments or state-sponsored groups attempting to steal sensitive information or disrupt operations

Which is more damaging: insider vs. outsider threats

The question of whether outsiders or insiders pose a greater security risk remains a subject of ongoing discussion. It depends on various factors such as the nature of the threat, the sensitivity of the data or systems involved, and the effectiveness of the organization’s security measures.

Some studies suggest that insider threats can be more damaging. That’s because of the potential for greater access and the difficulty of detection. While others highlight the significant damage that can be caused by sophisticated outsider attacks. Ultimately, both types of threats represent significant risks that organizations need to manage through effective security practices.

At the same time, Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report stated that 80% of cyberattacks were carried out by outsiders. Against less than 20% of malfeasance with insiders being involved.

The figures reveal the question only from a statistical perspective. The majority of cybersecurity experts come out with insider threats being more serious for they’re always harder to detect.

Financial institutions, public administration at government agencies, and the healthcare sector are the main targets. Therefore, establishing strict protocols for meeting industry requirements, like HIPAA or GSA compliance, should be mandatory.

How does a DLP protect against Insider and Outsider threats

The best way to protect your business data is by applying a comprehensive, threat-centric approach to data security. An All-Purpose Data Protection Plan that provides in-depth visibility, permanent control, and advanced menaces protection regardless of where they are originating.

Data Security Threats, Data Safety, Data Protection, Insider Threats, Outsider Threats, Cyberattacks, Cybersecurity, Ransomware, Hacking, How to, Data Loss Prevention

To deploy this security model, you’ll need to look for technologies that are based on the following fundamentals:

Visibility-driven

When it comes to the assessment of security technologies, depth and breadth of visibility are equally crucial to gain across-the-board insight into environments and risks. Security administrators must be capable of seeing everything that is happening.

Inquire if the technologies your vendors provide will let you see and gather data from a full spectrum of potential attacks (such as the network fabric, mobile devices, email encryption and web gateways, endpoints, virtual environments, and the cloud).

These technologies must also offer the ability to correlate the collected data and understand the context to make better decisions.

Threat-focused

Modern networks broaden to information like what the data is, and where it can be accessed from. Keeping pace with persistently improving cyber attack vectors might be quite a challenge for security professionals, which, in the long run, can affect the ability to combat Insider and Outsider Threats.

Policies are essential to diminish the area of attack, but breaches still happen. Look for technologies that allow you to detect, understand, and stop threats once they’ve gotten into the network.

Being threat-focused means thinking like an attacker. This means applying visibility, understanding, and adapting to changes in the environment. Then evolving reliable protections to stop threats.

Platform-based

Security now requires an integrated system of open and agile platforms that cover all. Including the network, the cloud, and devices. Look for a security platform that is extensible, scalable, and can be centrally managed for consistent controls.

This is particularly crucial for the breaches that often stem from the same vulnerabilities. Despite whether they were caused by an insider or outsider’s actions.

This requires shifting from the deployment of simple point security instruments. Security gaps in the integration of a platform that provides scalable services and applications are easy to deploy, monitor, and manage.

Summary

Vital business data is always at risk, whether of an insider, outsider –  or both – threats.  However, even strict protocols, compliance, and due diligence may fail.

In case data loss happens, rely on SalvageData’s experience for fast data recovery. Just contact us for a free consultation on your case no matter what it was caused by. And let the ransomware professionals take care of the rest.

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Heloise Montini

Heloise Montini

Heloise Montini is a content writer whose background in journalism make her an asset when researching and writing tech content. Also, her personal aspirations in creative writing and PC gaming make her articles on data storage and data recovery accessible for a wide audience.

Socials:

Laura Pompeu

Laura Pompeu

With 10 years of experience in journalism, SEO & digital marketing, Laura Pompeu uses her skills and experience to manage (and sometimes write) content focused on technology and business strategies.

Socials:

Bogdan Glushko

Bogdan Glushko

CEO at SalvageData Recovery, Bogdan Glushko has over 18 years of experience in high-security data recovery. Over the years, he's been able to help restore data after logical errors, physical failures, or even ransomware attacks, for individuals, businesses, and government agencies alike.

Socials:

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