Organisations today face a plethora of security challenges, and one of the most complex and potentially damaging threats comes from within. Insider threats, which are risks posed by employees, contractors, or other authorised personnel, have become increasingly prevalent and devastating. Where businesses are leveraging digital technologies at a rapid pace, the need for robust Insider Governance and Administration (IGA) strategies is more critical than ever. In this blog, we will dive deeper into the strategies for using IGA capabilities to mitigate the risks posed by insider threats, with a particular focus on ZertID, a comprehensive solution designed to address this problem.

The growing Insider Threat Landscape

Before stepping into strategies and solutions, let’s take a moment to understand the gravity of the issue. A whopping 74% organisations were reported by 2023 insider threat report by Cybersecurity Insiders to have been moderately affected have evolved and grown in scope, posing a substantial challenge to organisations worldwide. Globally, where digital transformation is surging, the stakes are higher.

Latest Statistics and Trends

1. Rising Insider Threat Incidents: According to a 2022 report by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), insider threats accounted for nearly 33% of cyber incidents in the country, highlighting the urgency of addressing this issue.

2. Financial Impact: The cost of insider threats is substantial, with a study by Accenture indicating that insider threat incidents can cost organisations in Australia an average of AUD 3.96 million per year.

3. Remote Work Challenges: The shift towards remote work, accelerated by the global pandemic, has amplified insider threats. A survey conducted by PwC revealed that 52% of Australian organisations faced increased insider threat risks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Privileged Access Abuse: Insider threats often involve the misuse of privileged access. Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report noted that 45% of breaches involved privilege misuse, a statistic that is indicative of the growing trend.

5. Human Error vs. Malicious Intent: Insider threats encompass a wide spectrum, from unintentional data breaches due to human error to malicious activities by disgruntled employees. The dynamics have become more complex.

Mitigating Insider Threats with Strategic IGA

Strategic IGA encompasses a range of techniques and tools designed to address the various facets of insider threats. These strategies aim to proactively manage, monitor, and mitigate the risks posed by insiders.

Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) Solutions: IGA solutions are at the core of managing insider threats. They provide the means to control and monitor access, ensuring that users have the right level of access for their role, and no more. IGA capabilities can:
Implement Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): Assigning access based on roles ensures that individuals only have access to the data and systems necessary for their job, reducing the likelihood of inappropriate access.
Automate User Lifecycle Management: IGA solutions streamline user onboarding, role changes, and offboarding, reducing the risk of orphaned or excessive access permissions.
Continuous Monitoring: Real-time monitoring helps identify unusual or unauthorised behaviour and triggers alerts for immediate action.

Privileged Access Management (PAM)

Controlling access to privileged accounts is essential. PAM tools in conjunction with IGA ensure that only authorised personnel can access sensitive systems.

Privileged Access Governance is a critical element of security and it can often become harder to implement effectively if you have a siloed toolset. ZertID is one of a few solutions that break the barrier between IGA and PAM by offering an All-in-one solution.

Insider Threat Analytics

Sophisticated analytics capabilities within Identity security solutions can detect unusual patterns or behaviours that may indicate insider threats. By analysing user activities, an IGA system can identify anomalies, such as excessive file access, geographic coordinates, or login attempts. These anomalies can trigger alarms and investigations.

Security Awareness Training

Speaking of insider threats and IGA, your Employees play a crucial role in mitigating the risks. Your overall security strategy should include a robust security awareness program that educates personnel about the risks and consequences of insider threats. The goal is to create a security-conscious culture within the organisation.

Incident Response Plans

IGA strategies should also include well-defined incident response plans for insider threats. When a threat is detected, it’s essential to respond promptly and effectively to minimise damage. Regular drills and simulations can help the organisation prepare for such incidents.

To sum up, organisations worldwide must implement robust IGA strategies to safeguard their data and systems. ZertID is a compelling solution that aligns with these strategies, offering a comprehensive set of tools to mitigate the risks posed by insider threats. With role-based access control, user lifecycle management, real-time monitoring, privileged access management, advanced analytics, security awareness training, and incident response planning, ZertID equips organisations to tackle insider threats effectively.

As the threat landscape continues to evolve, it is imperative for Australian businesses to invest in IGA solutions that can adapt and respond to emerging risks. ZertID offers a strategic advantage in this regard, helping organisations stay one step ahead of insider threats in an increasingly digital world.