BeyondTrust

Security In Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting your critical IT infrastructure.

Predicting Insider Threats

Post by Peter McCalister July 19, 2011

In the movie Minority Report, police have created a system which predicts crime before it happens in a nightmarish Orwellian scenario. But what if companies could predict who would attack their most valuable assets? What kinds of ethical considerations would arise?

While insider threats are less in number, when they do happen the damage is generally far greater than an outside attack. According to the 2011 CyberSecurity Watch Survey conducted by CSO Magazine and Deloitte, annual monetary losses from breaches average approximately $123,000 per organization.

This past year WikiLeaks has brought new meaning to the concept of insider threat by providing a convenient vehicle to empower staff at government agencies and public/private corporations to quickly and instantly hand over their privileged information to the world.

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory believe that combining traditionally monitored cyber security data with other kinds of organizational data is one option or inferring the motivations of individuals, which may in turn allow early prediction and mitigation of insider threats. While unproven outside the lab, researchers believe that this combination of data may yield better results than either cyber security or organizational data would in isolation. However, this nontraditional approach yields inevitable conflicts between security interests of the organization and privacy interests of individuals.

Should warning signs of a potential malicious insider be addressed before a malicious event has occurred to prevent harm to the organization and discouragethe insider from violating the organization’s rules? Predictive approaches cannot be validated a priori; false accusations may harm the career of the accused; and collection/monitoring of certain types of data may adversely affect employee morale.

While predicting insider threats makes for an interesting movie plot, the best bet for organizations in this day and age is to implement privileged identity management solutions to create boundaries that enable end users and applications to communicate freely within an IT environment without worry of intentional, accidental or indirect misuse of privilege.

Leave a Reply

Additional articles

Vulnerability Expert Forum Highlights: April 2014

We had a great turnout for last week’s April 2014 Vulnerability Expert Forum (VEF) webcast. BeyondTrust Research experts, Carter and DJ, provided in-depth knowledge about the latest vulnerabilities and their potential impacts on network environments. Below are highlights from the Forum, plus an on-demand video of the presentation. Latest critical vulnerabilities, vendor patches, and zero-day…

Post by Chris Burd April 16, 2014
Tags:
, , , , ,
BI-5.1-user-asset-visibility-img

Understanding Who Has Access to What with BeyondInsight v5.1

Today, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to BeyondInsight version 5.1, the latest release of our IT Risk Management platform, which unifies several of our solutions for Privileged Account Management and Vulnerability Management. BeyondInsight v5.1 embodies BeyondTrust’s mission to give our customers the visibility they need to make smart decisions and reduce risk to their…

Post by Morey Haber April 15, 2014
Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , , ,

PowerBroker for Unix & Linux Now Available via Web Services

This week BeyondTrust released a fully functional Web Services interface (REST API) for its PowerBroker for Unix & Linux product.  With this new feature users of the solution will now be able to remotely and securely configure and retrieve data via the API.  The Web Services interface implemented by BeyondTrust is an industry standard that…

Post by Paul Harper April 10, 2014
Tags:
, , , , ,