INSIDERS VS. OUTSIDERS: WHAT'S THE GREATER CYBERSECURITY THREAT?

Pranav Kumar
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The importance of cybersecurity grows in line with digital adoption. Cyber threats are abundant, and difficult to consistently defend against. However, a good start would be to know where they are most likely coming from: inside or outside?

Who poses the biggest security threat - insiders or outsiders?

Let’s understand the overview of the threats:

Outsider Threats:

One of the main objectives for an external cyber attacker is to extract sensitive information from a company's vast network. Once an intruder has full access to the network, they have complete control over confidential data.

According to Digital Guardian’s findings, the motive changes when the source of the attack is discovered, with outsiders far more likely to be incentivised by financial gains than insiders.

Methods through which outside attacks can happen:

  • Denial of service attacks 
  • Malware attacks 
  • Hacking 
  • Physical theft 

Insider Threats:

An insider attack is one of the biggest threats faced by organizations since these types of hacks can be very difficult for IT teams to identify.

The insider threat can be just as dangerous to an organization as external threats. 

Many experts have seen this manifest with pervasive administrative access being granted to almost anyone for anything; along with passwords that never change and little to no segregation of duties. This in turn gave rise to the insider threats incidents. 

Methods through which insider attacks can happen:

  • Physical theft 
  • Privilege use 
  • Copying or uploading sensitive data to personal accounts/drive
  • Unintentional data leaks or loss of company property 

IT teams need to focus on protecting both the perimeter and the internal network. They should also air gap business units when necessary.

Protecting against insiders and outsiders

It is imperative that companies and the public both take external and inside cyber attacks seriously because they can have disastrous consequences.

The fact of the matter is that securing your business’s data and confidential information can never be considered a one-time solution — it is more about a process of safeguarding your business’s data and then maintaining that security.

The best way to keep data secure is to implement an ongoing security program that encompasses both on the inside and on the outside. 

Digital Guardian - The Industry Premier SaaS Solution for Enterprise DLP can help you both detect and prevent many threats to protect your organization's from data loss.

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Pranav Kumar

Excited about digital disruption and exponential impact of emerging technologies; I have a deep passion for technology, business, and progress. I envision a future where an intellectual and responsible use of technology will positively change the future of work, and life.