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Insider Threat Detection Using Search and Analytics

John Back
John Back
Deal Execution Senior Manager

A study conducted by Ponemon Institute and Raytheon showed that 69% of respondents didn't have enough contextual information from security tools to identify real insider threats and 56% said security tools yield too many false positives. Having to sift through, classify, and monitor huge volumes of growing data is making insider threat detection increasingly difficult.

Watch the video to learn how search and analytics can be used to classify data and analyze user sentiment to detect red flags, ensuring compliance and protecting organizations against data breaches.

What Are Insider Threats?

An insider threat, as defined by the CERT Insider Threat Center, is a current or former employee, contractor, or other business partner who has or had authorized access to an organization's network, system, or data and intentionally misused that access to negatively affect the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the organization's information or information systems.

The public might be most familiar with high-profile security breaches and intelligence situations like the Edward Snowden case, but the reality is that insider threats pose a critical concern for organizations across all industries. And insider threats caused by malicious or accidental offenders can put your organization and data at risk. Take a look at these scenarios for example:

  • Banks and financial services institutions worry about electronic communications that might signal non-compliant activities (insider trading) which could lead to millions in fines.
  • Retailers worry about customer data breaches which result in lack of trust and revenue decrease.
  • Companies, such as manufacturers and high tech firms, are concerned about leaking trade secrets, even if it’s inadvertent.
  • Healthcare organizations risk exposing confidential patient information which could lead to HIPAA violations.

While most organizations respect the privacy of staff’s communications, if your organization has a high risk of costly data breaches, you will need an adequate insider threat detection strategy.

The Challenge of Insider Threat Detection

Not only do organizations need to manage the risk of data breaches, those in highly-regulated sectors are also required to ensure compliance. Given the rapid growth of organizations’ data and their various sources, it’s very difficult to reach and maintain very high accuracy levels when it comes to classifyingmonitoring, and searching across all data to detect non-compliant patterns. Thus, insider threat detection has emerged as a key challenge for CIOs, security professionals, and compliance officers. 

A Scalable Solution for Mitigating Insider Threats

Given the costs and complex requirements needed for a robust insider threat detection application, many organizations are leveraging search as a scalable, effective alternative to traditional software.

Well-suited to handle large volumes of data of all types and across multiple sources, search can also integrate seamlessly with multiple archiving solutions and analytics platforms to:

  • Store, catalogue, and classify terabytes, even petabytes, of structured (documented records and transactions) and unstructured (notes, emails, phone calls, and social media conversations) data from disparate sources.
  • Perform sentiment analysis to detect trends in user behaviors and flag non-compliant patterns for further investigation.
  • Allow for in-depth analysis, monitoring, and reporting that satisfy a security or compliance officer’s workflow.

Watch the video above for details on how we leveraged search engines and analytics UIs to build the insider threat detection application.