How to identify and prevent internal threats in your company?

How to identify and prevent internal threats in your company? 5

Internal threats, also known as insider threats, occur when an individual with close ties to an entity and with authorized access performs actions that compromise the security of the organization’s information or crucial systems, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. This figure is not necessarily an employee; even external suppliers, contractors, and partners can pose threats.

What is meant by an internal agent or infiltrator? ​

An individual who currently works or has previously worked as an employee, contractor, or business partner and has had access to the entity’s network, systems, or data.

Definition of internal threats

Anyone who works for an organization can pose a threat, as there is a risk that they will take actions that lead to a security incident. These incidents occur when a person (in this situation called an insider), whether intentionally or accidentally, abuses their access rights and undermines the confidentiality, integrity or availability of an entity’s essential information or systems.

Therefore, the most valuable asset is also the main source of risk. Internal incidents account for a large percentage of security incidents that occur in organizations. However, most security solutions focus on analyzing computer equipment, networks, and system data.

Threats can originate at any level and from any individual with access to sensitive information. However, even those who do not have this access can be complicit in an incident, for example, by providing data on employees who do handle sensitive information or systems to a cybercriminal carrying out a social engineering attack.

A quarter of security incidents involve the participation of insiders.

How to identify and prevent internal threats in your company? 6

Who can act as insiders?


Any employee who has access to or knowledge about the organization, its information, its structure, its employees, etc.
Privileged users, such as IT team members and super users.
Employees laid off or who have voluntarily left the organization.

External actors


Types of insider threats

There are mainly two types: malicious and accidental.

Malicious threats

Examples of this type of internal business threats:

Intellectual property theft
Espionage activities
Fraud (for financial purposes)

Accidental threats

Examples of this type of internal business threats:

  • Human error
  • Making wrong decisions
  • Phishing attacks
  • Malware infection
  • Involuntary complicity
  • Credential extraction
How to identify and prevent internal threats in your company? 7

Who is vulnerable to insider threats?

Any organization is susceptible to suffering an internal incident, regardless of its size or sector. The profiles that cybercriminals usually target are usually those who handle financial information, those who provide computer support or those who work with information systems.

How to prevent insider threats

To mitigate and prevent insider threats, both intentional and unintentional, it is essential to continuously monitor access to critical information and systems, and take immediate action in the event of any incident. The possible threats are varied and numerous: from the introduction of malware to financial fraud, data manipulation and/or theft of valuable information. To address these situations, organizations should adopt a strategy that includes at least the following key components:

  1. Internal intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS)
  2. Data leak prevention (DLP) systems
  3. Incident management procedure
  4. Information Security Policy that covers aspects related to possible internal threats.
  5. Integration of tools, including SIEM and other security solutions, to facilitate incident prevention and management.
  6. Information security awareness for all employees and external personnel with access to information, covering all areas (communications, information management, incident management, regulatory compliance,…)

At Kymatio we are dedicated to simplifying the work of those who manage human cyber risk, seeking to increase workers’ awareness. We offer awareness tailored to each individual through a platform based on neuropsychology principles and our unique technology. With Kymatio’s complete tool, evaluation and training tasks are automated, focusing attention on the attitude of employees to protect the company’s valuable resources.