Insider Threat, le minacce dall'interno Giacomo Lanzi

Insider threat: identifying and fighting them

Insider threats are difficult to spot because they come from within your organization. Employees, contractors and partners require different levels of login credentials in order to perform their work. Attackers can trick these insiders into accessing them or offering them money to knowingly steal valuable information from the company.

Traditional security solutions focus on protecting the organization from external attackers. This strategy overlooks the damage that an internal resource could do to the organization, whether aware or not. With a Nextgen SIEM solution you have the ability to detect and respond to both external and internal threats, with the help of the UEBA in identifying suspicious behavior.

Insider threat - working in team

Insider threat, the reasons

Employees or contractors identified as at risk are linked to 60% of cases of insider threats, increasing the likelihood that such incidents result in the theft of sensitive company data. Insider threats can be divided into two groups: the distracted and the hostile.

The mechanics of an attack change significantly based on the motivations behind it. It is therefore better to fully understand which characteristics are typical of the motivations behind attacks, in order to be able to stop potential threats before they become violations.

Economic gain

It is clear to each employee how much the data that the company holds can be worth. Here, in the event of a crisis, allowing data to be leaked in exchange for money may seem like a reduced risk. This type of motive must be considered above all when, in times like the present one, an external event (the COVID-19 pandemic) still puts the workplace at risk. With the risk of an imminent layoff, the sale of data that you have access to as an employee is a more than attractive escape route.


Non-compliance with security rules is a very real risk and the most common cause of internal threats. Indolence in compliance with the rules costs organizations an average of $ 4.58mln per year. Threats come, specifically, from some security practices that are not respected, such as failure to log out from the system, writing one’s passwords on paper or reusing them. In this category there are also violations in the use of unauthorized software or a failure to protect company data.

The reasons behind these harmful behaviors are often, unfortunately, particularly simple: security is bypassed by an allegedly greater speed, productivity or, worse, laziness.


One type of negligent employee is the distracted one, which is worth treating in isolation because it is more complicated to identify. While the serial behavior of violating the rules is easily identifiable, the distracted, who normally diligently complies with the regulations, is not identified before the only, unfortunate, time when his carelessness does not cost the company an attack that went to successful.

Damage to the company

Among the most subtle insider threats are those of those who have the sole purpose of damaging the company. The motive, in these cases, is usually of a personal nature: an employee who is refused a raise, a disagreement with a superior, etc. The insider then moves to discredit his company, causing damage to its image that results in frightened investors who withdraw their capital or lose customers.

Sabotage and sale of information to third parties

For companies that handle sensitive data, this type of threat is a real risk. Whether the company deals with valuable intellectual property or sensitive data of its customers, there is a high probability that there are those who are interested in having access to that data to use it to their advantage. In this scenario, the actor who wants to get hold of the data recruits an insider to steal it.

Cases that fall under the definition of espionage or media sabotage have been on the rise in recent years. Attacks start from nations such as Russia or North Korea, often involved in this type of trafficking in order to gain political advantages against Western states and organizations.

Defense against insider threats

The defense against attacks that originate from the inside is based on the analysis of the suspicious behavior of those who have access to the systems. The difficulty is found in the non-violent nature of the attacks. It is easy for insiders to not need to breach any security checks, having access from the start.

So how can we immediately catch the threats?

Monitor user access

Insiders with legitimate access choose to abuse their access privileges. Excessive access rights are often granted to reduce the effort that privilege management requires. Avoiding this type of behavior is already a first step in a proactive direction of defense.

Furthermore, with a Nextgen SIEM system it is possible to monitor users with high privilege access to databases, servers and critical applications. At that point it is easier to identify those who abuse their access.

Detect suspicious user behavior

The most sophisticated attacks are based on stealth. To this end, attackers increasingly rely on the compromise of existing internal resources. Once inside the network, they perform lateral movement and steal data under the guise of an internal user.

A system such as that offered by SOD’s SOCaaS allows, among other things, to quickly identify suspicious accounts by detecting abnormal user behavior compared to normal base patterns and the activity of colleagues.

The advantages of a modern system

Shorter response time

Using behavioral analysis it is possible to identify abnormal actions so that we can investigate very quickly.

Advanced behavioral analysis: with the UEBA system (included in SOCaaS), security analysts are able to monitor access and activity of users to the most important resources of the company, allowing to find internal threats with the minimal noise for fast detection and response.

Rapid recognition of users at risk

To enable rapid detection of insider threats, security teams need the ability to link a user’s accounts together to create a universal user profile. This is possible with a Nextgen SIEM system. The analysis of user behavior is also compared to that of a group of peers, to identify anomalous behaviors with greater precision, understanding how a user’s activity is different from that of his colleagues.

The threats that start from within the company perimeter are perhaps the most risky due to their low noise nature. Fortunately, with systems increasingly capable of detecting suspicious behavior and aggregating large amounts of employee data, it is possible to take effective countermeasures to combat this type of attack.

Useful links:



More Articles…

Categories …


RSS darkreading

RSS Full Disclosure

  • BACKDOOR.WIN32.DUMADOR.C / Remote Stack Buffer Overflow (SEH) April 19, 2024
    Posted by malvuln on Apr 19Discovery / credits: Malvuln (John Page aka hyp3rlinx) (c) 2024 Original source: Contact: malvuln13 () gmail com Media: Threat: Backdoor.Win32.Dumador.c Vulnerability: Remote Stack Buffer Overflow (SEH) Description: The malware runs an FTP server on TCP port 10000. Third-party adversaries who can reach the server can send a specially […]
  • SEC Consult SA-20240418-0 :: Broken authorization in Dreamehome app April 19, 2024
    Posted by SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab via Fulldisclosure on Apr 19SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab Security Advisory < 20240418-0 > ======================================================================= title: Broken authorization product: Dreamehome app vulnerable version:
  • MindManager 23 - full disclosure April 19, 2024
    Posted by Pawel Karwowski via Fulldisclosure on Apr 19Resending! Thank you for your efforts. GitHub - pawlokk/mindmanager-poc: public disclosure Affected application: MindManager23_setup.exe Platform: Windows Issue: Local Privilege Escalation via MSI installer Repair Mode (EXE hijacking race condition) Discovered and reported by: Pawel Karwowski and Julian Horoszkiewicz (Eviden Red Team) Proposed mitigation:...
  • CVE-2024-31705 April 14, 2024
    Posted by V3locidad on Apr 14CVE ID: CVE-2024-31705 Title : RCE to Shell Commands" Plugin / GLPI Shell Command Management Interface Affected Product : GLPI - 10.X.X and last version Description: An issue in Infotel Conseil GLPI v.10.X.X and after allows a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code via the insufficient validation of user-supplied input. […]
  • SEC Consult SA-20240411-0 :: Database Passwords in Server Response in Amazon AWS Glue April 14, 2024
    Posted by SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab via Fulldisclosure on Apr 14SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab Security Advisory < 20240411-0 > ======================================================================= title: Database Passwords in Server Response product: Amazon AWS Glue vulnerable version: until 2024-02-23 fixed version: as of 2024-02-23 CVE number: - impact: medium homepage: found:...
  • [KIS-2024-03] Invision Community <= 4.7.16 (toolbar.php) Remote Code Execution Vulnerability April 11, 2024
    Posted by Egidio Romano on Apr 10------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Invision Community
  • [KIS-2024-02] Invision Community <= 4.7.15 (store.php) SQL Injection Vulnerability April 11, 2024
    Posted by Egidio Romano on Apr 10-------------------------------------------------------------------- Invision Community
  • Multiple Issues in concretecmsv9.2.7 April 11, 2024
    Posted by Andrey Stoykov on Apr 10# Exploit Title: Multiple Web Flaws in concretecmsv9.2.7 # Date: 4/2024 # Exploit Author: Andrey Stoykov # Version: 9.2.7 # Tested on: Ubuntu 22.04 # Blog: Verbose Error Message - Stack Trace: 1. Directly browse to edit profile page 2. Error should come up with verbose stack trace […]
  • OXAS-ADV-2024-0001: OX App Suite Security Advisory April 11, 2024
    Posted by Martin Heiland via Fulldisclosure on Apr 10Dear subscribers, We&apos;re sharing our latest advisory with you and like to thank everyone who contributed in finding and solving those vulnerabilities. Feel free to join our bug bounty programs for OX App Suite, Dovecot and PowerDNS at YesWeHack. This advisory has also been published at […]
  • / Insecure Permissions (In memory IPC) April 11, 2024
    Posted by malvuln on Apr 10Discovery / credits: Malvuln (John Page aka hyp3rlinx) (c) 2024 Original source: Contact: malvuln13 () gmail com Media: Threat: Vulnerability: Insecure Permissions (In memory IPC) Family: Razy Type: PE32 MD5: 0eb4a9089d3f7cf431d6547db3b9484d SHA256: 3d82fee314e7febb8307ccf8a7396b6dd53c7d979a74aa56f3c4a6d0702fd098 Vuln ID: MVID-2024-0678...