Not all insider threats are malicious—they can come from mistakes or negligence as well. In a study from SolarWinds, conducted in partnership with IDC research, 62% of businesses found insider mistakes were the leading cause of security incidents. This could come from copying data to insecure devices, accidentally emailing protected information to people, or creating weak passwords.
In particular, this last point on passwords deserves some discussion. Most people have dozens of passwords, so it’s common for even security professionals to reuse passwords or create weaker, easy-to-remember passwords. The problem is, just one bad password could lead to a cybercriminal gaining a foothold, then causing a chain reaction of mayhem across your accounts. While training employees helps, getting them to follow password best practices in the day-to-day can still be a challenge. Using a password manager can help enforce these best practices.
Password management encompasses more than just setting strong passwords. How you handle password resets, for example, plays a major role in your customers’ security postures. One of the first things cybercriminals attempt to steal are passwords. If they gain access to someone’s credentials, they basically have the keys to the kingdom. When a password reset request comes in, you’ll need to verify the user’s identity. So, make sure you enable multifactor authentication (MFA) for password reset requests to keep out external threat actors. This also helps defend against internal threat actors as well. For example, if an employee or contractor decides to steal information and resell it, they could request a password reset on an executive’s account to one or more services. If you don’t have MFA enabled, they could walk away with valuable, sensitive information.
The threat is coming from inside the business
The biggest security headlines typically come from major, widespread attacks like WannaCry, BadRabbit, Spectre, or Meltdown. But as we found in our research, insiders play major roles in breaches. As much as you try to protect against the latest external threat du jour, you still need to focus on your own internal security (both for your business and for your customers’ organization). There’s no need to be paranoid—just a few common-sense security controls can help prevent insider attacks.
Note: This is part two of our National Cybersecurity Awareness Month series. You can read all the posts so far here.
SolarWinds® Passportal + Documentation Manager is built to help you enforce password best practices across your MSP team by automatically generating strong passwords, giving your team one-click access to critical accounts and allowing you to quickly grant or revoke access as needed—particularly helpful for offboarding employees. SolarWinds Passportal Site is an optional add-on that lets you extend the functionality of Passportal to your customers to both keep your customers safe and generate additional revenue. Learn more today at passportalmsp.com/.
Colin Knox is director of product strategy, SolarWinds Passportal.