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Everything You Need to Know About Insider Attacks

By April 9, 2021No Comments6 min read
Insider Attacks Cybersecurity

Most business owners think that cyber threats always come from outside. However, sometimes insider attacks can also lead to data breaches. Data breaches mainly occur due to insider attacks. Sometimes your own employees can leak your data. Thus, it is important to understand the risk of an insider attack. In this article, we are going to share some tips that will help you in reducing the risk of insider attacks.

Definition of an insider attack:

An insider attack simply means that a member of your business will use their access to leak your data. It can be in form of sabotage, fraud, theft, competitive advantage, and espionage. These attacks are generally carried out by abusing access rights. Your own employees might steal your devices.

Employees are mostly the common cause of these attacks. However, anyone that has access to your business data will pose a security risk. According to a report from Ponemon Institute, insider attacks have grown by over 31% in the last two years. The frequency of these attacks is increasing very quickly.

Companies are relying more on technology and digital solutions. They are using digital solutions for providing access. Thus, the probability of insider attacks is also increasing with time.

Difference between internal and external attacks:

Internal attacks will come from someone that is working with your business. They will already have access to your data. However, external attacks will be done by someone who is not working with your business. They will use hacking techniques for gaining access to your data.

Different types of insider attacks:

There are various methods that your employees can use to gain access to your data. Some of the main methods used are:

  1. Pawn

In this, the person involved will have no idea that they are the main cause of the problem. They will be targeted by outsider or insider attackers. Social engineering is used to target these employees. The external attacker will get access to the pawn credentials by using some simple attacks like social engineering and phishing attacks.

  1. Goof

This insider attack will happen when your employees won’t follow the security measures. Due to this, your business will be at risk. Your employees might think that they are making their life easy by ignoring the strict guidelines. However, it will only result in a data breach.

Your employees won’t cause the problem with some malicious intent. However, they will still end up making a decision that will leave your business data exposed to attackers.

  1. Collaborator

The first two examples were the result of a lack of awareness. However, in this, the attacker will be directly involved in the attack.

Due to this, your data will be exposed to outside sources. Outside sources can steal your data by working with these employees. You will lose a lot of data due to these attacks.

  1. Lone wolf

This type of threat will mostly come from an angry employee. They might have access to your sensitive data and information. Thus, they can abuse their access for harming your company.

Methods used for insider attacks:

  1. Internal Hacking

In this, your employees will steal or leak access to your computer. They can also corrupt your important and sensitive data.

  1. Email attacks

Attackers will generally use phishing emails for stealing your employee’s credentials. These emails will be designed in a way to get your employees to click on some link. Thus, attackers will get access to your entire network.

  1. Ransomware attacks

Attackers can also use your employees for introducing malware or ransomware in your network. These attacks will result in your system getting locked down. You need to pay ransom to attackers for unlocking your data.

  1. Cloud storage attacks

Most workers are working remotely from their homes. Thus, the reliance on cloud and mobile-based storage has increased due to the coronavirus pandemic. These technologies are already well protected. The real danger will come from the employees that are downloading your sensitive data on their personal devices.

How to protect your company from insider attacks?

It can be difficult to spot insider attacks. However, you can still take some steps for protecting your business from insider attacks.

  1. Use employee monitoring software

There are various employee monitoring tools available in the market. You can use these tools for protecting your data from insider attacks. These tools will help you in tracking your employee’s activities.

You can use this tool for setting up rules for your employees. It will ensure that your employees have to follow strict rules when they are handling your data. You can set triggers that will activate if your employees are doing some suspicious activity.

  1. Create a strict cybersecurity policy

Insider attacks will mostly be done by the employee that you trust. It can be some high-ranking manager or some other employee in your business. You can’t give full access to your sensitive data to your employees. Make sure that your employees can only access the data that they need. This will also help you in following the strict GDPR compliance.

  1. Provide cybersecurity training

Sometimes insider attacks can also occur due to accidents. Thus, you should ensure that your employees know about the best cybersecurity practices. If your employees don’t know about the best practices, then outsider attackers can easily trick them. They can use simple attacks like phishing attacks for stealing your employee’s credentials. You should provide cybersecurity training to your employees. This will ensure that your employees know about the basic cybersecurity practices. Thus, they can protect your business from social engineering attacks.


Sometimes insider attacks are not intentional in nature. It is important to protect your employees from social engineering attacks. Also, you should protect your business from intentional insider attacks. These tips will help you in protecting your business from insider attacks. You can use employee monitoring tools for tracking your employees. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire can help you in protecting your business from insider attacks. They will help you in training your employees. This will ensure that your employees won’t fall for simple attacks. Also, they will help you in remotely monitoring your employee activities. Thus, you don’t need to worry about manually monitoring your employee. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.

Contact us today to learn about Bleuwire™  services and solutions in how we can help your business.