Broker Check

Insider Cyber Threats

September 29, 2020

"A man's enemies are the people of his house", the prophet Micah wrote. Apparently insiders were a threat even in biblical times. Now they can breach your computer network. Recently rouge employees were responsible for data breaches at Shopify and Twitter. As reported by Samantha Ann Schwartz on, the Shopify breach impacted about 200 merchants.

According to Joseph Blankenship, VP and research director at Forrester, one quarter of data breaches are due to insiders, and almost half of them are intended to cause harm. In addition to employees, contractors, business partners and vendors can be threats.

What kind of employees can act maliciously? According to Blankenship, disgruntled, financially distressed or recently laid off employees have incentives to act illegally. The pandemic, recession, social unrest and the election cycle are all contributing factors.

Companies need to know their users, what they need to know and what they need to access. Audit activity, and investigate and respond to suspicious activity. Most insider threats take place 60 to 90 days before employees leave a  company. Use zero trust and monitor logging.