Insider risk management is concerned with the protection of organization data and IP through the use of specialized techniques, best practices, software, hardware, and other methods. One of the most persistent threats facing programs today is the threat of data exfiltration. In fact, according to recent studies, as many as 61 percent of cybersecurity professionals have experienced a data breach within their current organizations. And as laws surrounding data security continue to develop, so too do the potential consequences of these data breach events. So what exactly is data exfiltration and how can you protect your company from it?
Data exfiltration is the unauthorized copying, transfer, or retrieval of data from a server or a computer. While this can be done by an outside source such as a hacker, it is more commonly done by an insider threat – and while insider threats can act out with malicious intent, it’s worth noting that two-thirds of all insider incidents are caused by negligence or a lack of information.
What are the most common methods used to exfiltrate data? Data can escape your security network in many different ways. File share, removable USB thumb drives, and email tend to be the most common vectors for both intentional as well as unintentional data exfiltration. In addition, employees skirting security rules surrounding device usage is becoming an increasingly common variable in data exfiltration scenarios, especially for organizations that have transitioned to a remote work environment.
Protecting Your Data
In the past, security programs relied on tools such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software to protect their data. While this type of software is effective in some instances, when it comes to data exfiltration from insiders they are often woefully inadequate. And they require significant maintenance and fine-tuning to get the best results.
Instead, turn the focus of your program to the potential insider and build out your strategy from this perspective. Invest in employee training and education – considering how many insider incidents stem from simple lack of knowledge or clarification of policies, this investment is a no-brainer. Run assessments of your program and its current capabilities to identify where your program falls short. Integrate software custom-tailored to identify and prevent potential exfiltration attempts from within. Operate access control measures based around the Principle of Least Privilege. Taken together, these concepts can create a security environment for your data that will allow your organization to protect itself and thrive.
Contact ITMG to Assess Your Current Capabilities and Develop Strategies and Protocols Designed to Help Your Company Mitigate Your Insider Risk
ITMG is an industry leader in helping organizations throughout the United States strengthen their insider risk management programs and secure sensitive data and intellectual property. Our team of bona fide experts has the real-world experience necessary to plan out and create holistic security solutions tailored to the special needs and risks in your industry. Contact ITMG today to learn more about how we can help! You can also visit our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for more updates and insights into the world of insider risk management.