The Ways to Mitigate Insider Threats Using Privileged Access Management

The Ways to Mitigate Insider Threats Using Privileged Access Management

Jul 04, 2021 / Kron

Cybersecurity threats are among the leading problems faced by the business world today. A strong fortress must be built considering that critical data regarding the companies' business models and employees can be subject to a cyberattack at any time. Therefore, a fortress that is strong in terms of data security should also be fully supported against being conquered from the inside. In other words, insider threats play one of the most critical role among all cybersecurity threats.

The Role of Authorized Accounts in Insider Threats

Insider authorized accounts are the leading threats that need to be checked in the event of data breaches. Authorized users who can perform many transactions on company data depending to their privileged access rights can expose your company to cyber attacks if not subject to various advanced security protocols. Successfully implementing such protocols and not leaving any gaps that can lead to access security breaches have a direct effect on both the long-term success and the financial statements of companies. This is because the loss inflicted by an insider threat resulting from an access breach leads companies to face serious negative financial conditions.

The Zero Trust and Least Privilege Methodologies

IT departments and cybersecurity teams in your company in charge of ensuring your information security should protect the authorized accounts and keep track of all the steps they take in the process of privileged access. While doing so, the Zero Trust and Least Privilege methodologies are among the most functional options for the teams to inspect privileged access and ensure high levels of data security.

Zero Trust

Contrary to popular belief, Zero Trust is not a security program or a data security application. In its simplest terms, Zero Trust refers to a strategic data security approach that has been developed from the “Never trust, always verify” approach and is based on the principle that companies should not trust any digital asset inside or outside the network. This security policy is based on the principle that all digital items attempting to connect to the company network should be verified before being granted data access permission.

The most important benefit of the Zero Trust methodology is considered to be its ability to take measures against insider threats as well. Containing many processes that require verification and authorization approval, the Zero Trust policy considerably mitigates potential data breaches resulting from insider threats. Zero Trust keeps access under control by using applications such as centralized password management, authorized session management, and multi-factor authentication (MFA). The basis is thus prevented for intentional or unintentional faults by your employees.

Least Privilege

The Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) is a discipline that allows companies to correctly restrict access to company data. The PoLP offers a versatile data security approach that covers not only third-party service providers or employees who wish to access the company network but also virtual users such as database services.

Least Privilege plays a significant role in identifying and preventing insider threats and is based on determining the users who will have privileged access to data and the access levels of such users. Using PoLP allows for the creation of profiles similar to standard accounts, privileged accounts, or shared accounts and defining different authorization levels for each profile. Potential cyber threats resulting particularly from insider threats (malware, rootkit, identity theft) can thus be easily averted.

You are highly likely to be exposed to various insider threats unless you implement such cybersecurity approaches in your company. Note that you could incur substantial losses both in financial terms and in the sustainability of your business model in the event of insider threats, data breaches, and credentials leaking to third parties. In fact, according to the “31 Crucial Insider Threat Statistics: 2021 Latest Trends & Challenges” report by FinancesOnline, which brings together data from various sources, 61% of companies faced at least one insider threat in 2020. Also, insider threats were the source of 60% of the data leaked by companies in the same year.

The report states that 55% of the cyber attacks caused by insider threats are motivated by fraud, 49% by financial gains and 44% by IP theft. 63% of the insider threats are caused by IT employees with privileged access while 60% of the managers with access rights to sensitive data create insider threats.

On the other hand, 71% of the data breaches resulting from insider threats are caused by unintentional faults. 63% percent of such breaches result from employee negligence and 61% from malicious attempts. Finally, the average financial loss caused by insider threats in 2020 is 11,45 million $ and the total amount spent by organizations in the financial sector against insider threats is 14,5 million $.

Privileged Access Management

In addition to using the Zero Trust and Least Privilege methodologies, it is also very important that you use applications that are compatible with such methodologies to always inspect the users who access sensitive data, protect credentials, provide real-time surveillance, keep session logs, and securely store passwords like passwords vaults.

This is where Privileged Access Management (PAM) steps in. You can use PAM to easily implement all the privileged access steps and eliminate potential insider threats against your company.

Privileged Access Management controls all authorized sessions on the network through its Authorized Session Manager feature. It verifies the sessions with privileged access on the network using Centralized Password Management. It also prevents ill-intentioned employees to share passwords thanks to its password vault feature.

PAM uses Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) solution to secure access to critical assets with time and location verification, making it easier to detect insider threats. The Dynamic Data Masking and Database Access Manager features log all the operations of the users on the system, including the database managers. Privileged Task Automation (PTA) eliminates potential data breaches caused by unintentional employee faults by automating the routine tasks on the network.

Considered as one of the leading PAM solutions in the world by the Magic Quadrant for Privileged Access Management 2020 report published by Gartner, our Single Connect platform shares with you everything you need to prevent insider threats.

Single Connect contains all the principles of Privileged Access Management and successfully implements them through its modules, acting as a unique fortress against insider threats with the help of its multi-layer security infrastructure. With their various functions, the modules within Single Connect that control privileged access (TACACS+ / RADIUS Access Management, Centralized Password Management, Authorized Session Manager, Dynamic Data Masking, Two-Factor Authentication, and Privileged Task Automation) can easily fight insider threats.

Please feel free to contact us for further information on insider threats and to mitigate them using Single Connect to maximize data security in your company.

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