New Year, New Hackers: How to Prepare for Insider Threats

As the year begins, many companies are thinking “out with the old and in with the new” this January. However, before resolutions are made, companies must be forward-thinking and adjust priorities accordingly.

The insider threat – insiders using their privileges in malicious ways and the ability for hackers to take control of legitimate user identities – will continue to be a major issue for organizations in 2016. It’s a difficult situation for IT departments who want to make sure their global workforce has the right access to the right applications at the right time, regardless of where or how they access those applications. But at the same time, this onslaught of new technologies has multiplied usernames and passwords, while taking mission-critical data outside the corporate firewall and often outside the purview of IT.

Businesses are running fast, and IT organizations have to be three steps ahead, which isn’t easy. Fortunately, technology can help to mitigate insider threat risks in many ways. For example, governance-based identity and access management solutions can enforce strong passwords across the organization to minimize the risk of inappropriate access to sensitive corporate data by leveraging a single sign-on portal for end users. Additionally, these solutions can automatically enable access to applications and data regardless of where they reside, then automatically revoke that access when it’s no longer needed. This eliminates unused or dormant accounts, one of the top attack vectors, that hackers tend to exploit most often since it makes it easy to hide their tracks.

With nearly half of data breaches being caused as a result of insider threats this year, businesses must be vigilant in how they approach granting access to sensitive data and applications. By using identity and access management systems that put identity at the center of a security strategy, enterprises avoid long-term damage caused by malicious insiders. In today’s world, hackers are not necessarily cloaked in black hoodies – and your organization’s biggest security threat could even be occupying your C-suite.