3 Strategies to Mitigate Insider Threats in your Enterprise

Insider threats are a big threat for any enterprise or company and can lead to big loss for the company. Mostly, the one who puts the company at the risk of insider threat are the current or ex-employees of the company.

Though all of them might not harm the company willingly and instead their carelessness may be the reason behind it.

Every company should have some security options that saves their data from insider threats.

Insider Threat

Insider threats are the people who were or are employed by the company or enterprise and do such activities that harms the enterprise. Such people mostly have the access to different files and databases of the company and later on they use their information to steal and trade the company’s data.


There are different types of insider threats and they are categorized based on their actions.

Turncloak-malicious Insider
Turncloak also known as malicious insiders misuse their access to certain data of the company and perform harmful activities. A turncloak insider gains access to the database with the intention of stealing and trading the information for their own financial benefit.

Pawns-careless Insider
Pawns are also indicated as careless insiders because they expose the networks and systems which puts them to outside threats.

A pawn is a type of insider threat that unknowingly or mistakenly helps the attackers in harming the company therefore they are called careless insiders.

For example, many of them forget and give the flash drive to someone that has sensitive information or they click on the suspicious links that results in stealing of all the information.

Imposter-compromised Insider
Imposter is also a known and compromised insider, and they are mostly not ex-employees of the company yet manage to get the sensitive data and information.

They mostly show up in the form of contractors, users or even partners and somehow get access to the company’s info.


Here we discuss 3 strategies to mitigate insider threats in your enterprise.

Coordinate the IT security and HR
The cause of Many data leakage and security threats of organisations or enterprises happen due to the miscommunication between IT and HR.

If the IT department is not well aware of layoffs, they are also not aware about when to take and give access. Due to this, the unemployed ex workers can take the advantage and steal the data, change the data and even delete the data.

Contrarily, when IT and HR departments are well communicated, they can inform each other about little details and this way the insider threat incidents will not even take place.

A simple yet effective way of minimizing such accidents is to put the ex- employees on a watchlist to see if they are doing any suspicious activity. The HR should also check if the employees were not given promotion or raise in salary and see if they opt for a negative way.

In short, these two departments can work together and communicate regularly to prevent insider threat activities.

Technical Controls
Organizations can design some technical controls that analyse and identify suspicious users’ behaviors. Technical control has been quite known these days because of its effectiveness and quick response to abnormal users’ activities.

Technical controls can check the network traffic, files, endpoint activities and logins from different users.

In the same way, organizations can use different security technologies for detection of insider threats. For example, DLP encryption protocols can inform the organizations when a large file gets missing from the server. Likewise, the SIEM solutions can detect and inform you about insider threats if detected.

Employ the UBA

UBA is also known as user and entity behavior analytics. It does a very effective job in collecting and analyzing machine and user data. UBA contains a series of analytical techniques that distinguishes between normal and abnormal activities.

And this process does not happen all at once instead it happens in parts. Like firstly the data is collected and that helps in deciding whether the behavior is normal or not.

UBA greatly helps in detecting abnormal activities like unusual logins and patterns, large missing files or data uploads as well as credential abuse. These behaviors are considered to be abnormal according to UBA therefore, it alerts the enterprise about it.

An appreciable point of UBA is that it knows about such harmful behaviors long before any insider threat gets itself into the critical data system.


The trend of insider threats is becoming a norm day by day and it puts the company at a high risk of major loss.

It is because the methods of scamming have been so effective that even the professional employees are also being tricked.

Such a strategy is called pawns where the employee is tricked and that results in giving a gateway to the attackers for stealing the data.

The company needs to have strategies and technical controls like employing UBA, and improving the communication between HR and IT to reduce the chances of insider threats.

Cyber Security Review online – September 2022