Protecting your organization's data, infrastructure, brand, and people (including employees, partners, customers, etc…) is an increasingly complex undertaking. With the fast pace of digital transformation, the rapid shift in work models, and the rising sophistication of attackers, the cybersecurity community is always on the move. One of the most complex and rapidly changing threat categories is security breaches from authorized users – aka Insider Threats.
While the full spectrum of cybersecurity technologies can play a role in managing insider threats, a purpose-built insider threat management (ITM) platform should be at the core of your cybersecurity stack. The right ITM solution will help you prevent risks proactively. Also, it will empower your security team to work more efficiently when insider incidents do occur.
The relevance of ITM has evolved alongside the modern workplace. Leaders in cybersecurity now agree that ITM is a vital component of a mature security stack.
Shifting to a People-Centric Security Strategy
Cybersecurity programs have undergone a dramatic paradigm shift. Traditionally, perimeter-based strategies were at the heart of a security program. Today, working outside of the physical infrastructure's perimeter has become increasingly common and necessary. This has called for the introduction of people-centric security.
Securing the "people perimeter" addresses many pressing issues in modern security. Companies are outsourcing more roles than they used to. These roles can often require the sharing of sensitive legal information or HR information. Also, a people-centric approach resolves many security concerns for security teams managing remote employees.
Taking a people-centric approach to ITM starts with context-based user risk management. Context is a key component to a thorough ITM approach. The context will allow you to discern a user's intent, which is important to both preventing and investigating insider incidents.
Context-based user risk management includes 3 key elements:
- User Risk Profiling: Not all users are created equal. Some pose more risk than others and warrant a higher level of monitoring (e.g. 3rd party contractors, privileged access users, HR watch lists). Identifying and managing users based on risk profile is key.
- Cross-Channel Visibility: Establishing a unified view of how a user interacts with data on endpoints, cloud apps, social media, file-sharing services, email, etc... is fundamental. Intelligently collecting and managing this data in a way that it can be easily interpreted is important.
- Activity Timelines: Building an intuitive, visualization of user activity over time enables analysts and other stakeholders to understand the important context around security alerts in order to make actionable decisions.
Rapid Detection and Response to Insider Incidents
The longer an incident takes to resolve, the more expensive it becomes. A study by Ponemon Institute revealed that the average time to resolve an insider threat was 77 days. Beyond that, only 13% of incidents were contained within 30 days.
ITM platforms should accelerate the time to detect (MTTD) and the time to respond (MTTR).
Furthermore, successful ITM programs can further simplify incident response in several ways:
- Quickly dismissing false-positive alerts
- Addressing valid insider risks fairly
- Containing potential damage quickly
Many security teams are stretched thin as it is. A dependable and efficient approach to insider threats lets them do more with less.
Finding the Right Balance for Your Organization
Building the right security stack may be the greatest challenge security teams face. Security researcher and founder of Privacy Candada, Ludovic Rembert, referred to the act of building a security stack as "a careful set of balancing acts."
A successful cybersecurity stack protects the most dangerous security risks while also providing proactive, education-focused prevention strategies.
This balancing act also requires that ITM platforms comply with privacy and security regulations. When comparing tools, you also want to look ahead at upcoming audits and other key milestones. Consider how the flexibility of an ITM platform will aid in enterprise-wide deployment.
Protection Starts with People
Insider threats should be addressed within your broader security strategy. Incorporating a tool like Proofpoint Insider Threat Management into your security stack keeps you covered. Organizations should safeguard their most valuable assets and biggest potential risks: people.