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Fears of insider threats growing along with number of cloud users

The growing adoption of cloud has greatly improved the agility of many healthcare organizations, but it has also given rise to new security concerns such as threats from insiders.

Jeff Rowe | May 04, 2018 12:00 am

Do you trust your employees with your cloud data?

According to a recent study by Crowd Research Partners, a vast majority of IT managers would answer that question, “Not really.” 

Over 90 percent of organizations feel vulnerable to insider attacks, the study found, and of those questioned a little over half (53 percent) said they had experienced an insider attack in the last twelve months.

As a CloudTech article discussing the survey explained, there are four common insider threats faced by organizations today.

Rogue employees are considered “individuals that intentionally set out to steal company data; this may be done out of a desire for vengeance, profit, or even a competitor’s benefit.”

Third-party employees are insiders who “often act as fully integrated members of an organization, even when working from distant locations. Some may also have in-depth familiarity with internal processes and controls, making them just as knowledgeable about security procedures as an internal employee.”

Account hackers, who often manage to get access to usernames and passwords in hand, are generally “outside parties (who) can enter corporate networks through legitimate means and evade security systems.”

And careless workers, generally not malicious, are those who “may inadvertently compromise security by using unsecured public Wi-Fi, losing organizational credentials, clicking on suspicious email links, sharing sensitive information with unauthorised parties, or being followed into the office through an access-controlled door.”

As for ways to safeguard against such attacks, the article again points to four.

Automation, using the “kinds of tools (that) employ machine learning so that they can identify malicious or suspicious behaviors as they take place; for example, when a user suddenly downloads an unusually large amount of data or accesses sensitive information outside of normal working hours. These tools use an analytical, real-time approach in order to uncover threatening behavior and take corrective actions as needed.”

Identity and access management (IAM), which helps defend against insider threats by verifying users’ identities and grant data access to appropriate parties only.

Cloud Data loss prevention (DLP), which is “a dynamic tool that securely enables employees to work wherever they want and whenever they want – from the devices of their choosing.”

Training to help “raise awareness of security best practices and help keep data protection top of mind for workers.”