Insider Threat. Definition, Types, Examples and Prevention Strategies

You might think that you’re taking all security measures to protect your company, but have you ever considered that the danger might come from within? Insider threat is a very serious menace, as many big organizations have discovered on their own. 

What Is an Insider Threat?

The term insider threat refers to the threats that organizations face from employees, former employees, business associates, or contractors. These people have access to inside information related to the company’s data, computer systems, security practices, so any fraud, theft or sabotage on their part would hover over the organization’s security. 

The malicious insiders’ cybercrimes can include espionage, unauthorized disclosure of information, information technology sabotage, loss or degradation of the organization’s resources. 

According to the FBI, the malicious insiders’ motivations can be personal or organizational

Personal Factors


Greed or Financial Need: A belief that money can fix anything. Excessive debt or overwhelming expenses.

Anger/Revenge: Disgruntlement to the point of wanting to retaliate against the organization.

Problems at work: A lack of recognition, disagreements with co-workers or managers, dissatisfaction with the job, a pending layoff. […]

Ego/Self-image: An “above the rules” attitude, or desire to repair wounds to their self-esteem. Vulnerability to flattery

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