6 Types of Insiders that Could Be Working for You

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The Activist (Media Leaker)

A top performer, this insider will become privy to some internal communications of corporate executives about compensation. Through chats and emails that were mistakenly shared, she learns about helicopter rides and extravagant dinners on the company dime, sees conversations about whether to fire mid-level managers who didn't seem smart enough, and even disparaging and sexist remarks about a female admin assistant. This employee gets frustrated and decides she’s had enough. She shifts her hours so she can surreptitiously document her colleague's comments over a period of weeks or months. When she’s ready to quit, she’ll take the dirt and send it straight to a national media publication.

Indicators: May appear to be stressed or depressed. Seeks access to sensitive company information, is active on servers at unusual hours, and shows a spike in downloading activity.

Insider threats are the underappreciated threat. They fly under the radar as stories about hackers get top billing. Insider attacks are more insidious because they betray the trust the company has in its employees, partners and systems. Insider threats are the hardest to detect and take longer to discover than any other threats, according to the most recent Verizon Data Breach Report. Insider threats range across types and include: intentional data theft as in the Morgan Stanley breach; possible insider trading, like that recently seen in the LinkedIn acquisition; garden variety employee mistakes, such as the Google insider data breach; and ex-employees accused of taking trade secrets, as alleged in an IBM lawsuit. And then there are the active efforts by criminals to recruit insiders on the Dark Web or nation-state espionage that takes the form of phishing emails or bribed insiders.

The insider threat is not really a cybersecurity problem or a data analytics issue; it's a human risk problem that can only be solved by understanding how people think and behave. In this slideshow, RedOwl has applied the science of risk assessment to employee behavior and come up with six persona types of employees who represent insider threat risks.


Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

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