Zero Trust Model against insider threats with X-PHY® SSD

What are insider threats?

Most organizations make efforts to strengthen their cybersecurity to protect themselves from external attacks. They take measures to narrow down their attack surface on which an outsider may be able to attack, considering themselves secure from the inside. This is a problematic approach and leads to many cyber attacks, as it excludes the insiders from scrutiny. Insider threats include all security incidents happening due to a trusted employee or business partner, may they be deliberate or done with negligence. Protection against insider threats is a key component of effective cybersecurity, lacking which, many organizations succumb to disastrous cyber attacks. If plain words aren’t convincing enough, CERT Insider Threat Database in 2015 recorded over 1,000 incidents of sabotage where insiders harmed a business and a Verizon survey reported in 2017 that insiders cause 77% of data breaches.

Protecting the Enterprise with Zero Trust Model

The goal of cybersecurity is to protect the enterprise at all costs, leaving no potential threat unattended. This goal is achieved by the zero trust model. This model leaves no room for protocol or courtesy for senior employees and treats every insider alike; with suspicion. It requires proper authentication for every single access granted. Every person or system accessing any other system or service first undergoes a multi-factor authentication process and yet their activities are monitored and logged. Event logs and access patterns are necessary to detect any anomalous behavior from insiders as well.

Are Insider Threats Real?

Many unsuspecting people may believe that they are safe from insider attacks if their employees are happy. It may be true in some cases, but this is putting too much faith in human nature. There will always be someone unhappy, disgruntled or simply negligent. This is where the zero trust model comes into play. Everyone gets access to the inside through a standard procedure with no inherent trust involved. In fact, according to the 2020 insider threat report by cybersecurity insiders, 68% of the organizations feel moderately to extremely vulnerable to insider attacks. In addition to that, the total average cost of insider threats rose from $8.76M in 2017 to $11.45M in 2019, as per the global reports of The Ponemon institute of 2018 and 2020 cost of insider threats.

Insider attacks are stealthy, hideous and far reaching, because the insiders have access to an enterprise’s most critical assets and they can easily jeopardize the security and confidentiality of the organization. In fact, 85% of organizations say that they find it difficult to determine the actual damage of an insider attack, as it’s difficult to estimate the far-reaching effects of an insider attack. According to a research by Federal Computer Week cited in a Vormetric report, the greatest impacts of successful security attacks involving insiders are exposure of sensitive data, theft of intellectual property and the introduction of malware. To solidify the horror, IBM’s 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index reported that 60% of all the cyber-attacks in 2016 were triggered or caused by insider employees. (Of these, 75% were intended while 25% were due to negligence).

Social Engineering

Even if an organization’s employees are faithful, they may trigger an insider attack by falling victim to social engineering. All points of entry are a liability for the cybersecurity of an organization and employees are a big entry point for attackers. An unsuspecting employee may click a malicious link, login on a forged form, download a malicious email attachment and what not. All these ways of delivering malware are parts of social engineering campaigns which look perfectly harmless to unsuspecting eyes. Therefore people fall victim to these, and unintentionally download ransomware and the likes on enterprise computers. According to a report, 78% of the security professionals think the biggest threat to endpoint security is the negligence among employees for security practices.

Statistics reveal that 92% malware is delivered by email, and 98% of cyber attacks rely on social engineering. Intel reports that 97% of people around the world are unable to identify a sophisticated phishing email. This is what makes humans so vulnerable to cyber attacks. The zero trust architecture makes sure that humans are not the last line of defence for an enterprise.

Zero Trust Model against Insider Threats with X-PHY® SSD

A zero trust model would mean protection from all angles, whether internal or external. Our X-PHY® SSD being the latest innovation in the cyber security world works on this principle of zero trust. It not only protects your systems from external attacks, blocking the execution of all malware, but it also maintains authentication and access controls for insiders. In case of social engineering attacks, it will block the execution of malware and will immediately lock the device until a user unlocks it with proper authentication. This SSD acts as your last line of defense, preventing data theft and data cloning as well as physical attacks. It can also be enabled for data wipeout feature for sensitive environments so that all data is wiped out if an attacker gets physical hold of the device. In short this SSD is the perfect cyber security solution that doesn’t demand user interaction for carrying out its functions, hence no response delays. It works on the zero trust model and protects an enterprise at all costs. You just have to install it in the system and it’ll save you from the hassle of responding to threat alerts, because it is an independent AI-based solution.

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