While phishing and malware attacks can come at all levels, some departments are more susceptible than others. These departments cause the biggest cybersecurity problems, because they are usually given more trust and access on the network. Before you decide to skip monitoring due to job position, these three departments should be monitored the most.
Most organizations assume that IT employees know the signs of an attack, but security breaches stem from these positions just like any other. For instance, improper configuration of cloud services can lead to a data breach. One common vector is misconfigured Amazon S3 storage devices. This cloud service is used to store data and has been a source for large data leaks directly from IT people who misunderstood security rules within the cloud.
IT employees are targeted for their extended, elevated privileges across the network. To gain access to an IT account, the attacker can access databases, network resources and even reconfigure servers for backdoor access.
Financial employees have the keys to data that can be used in identity theft or to sell on the black market, which makes them a primary target for attackers. TechRepublic reports that a majority of attacks in 2016 and 2017 were focused on financial teams.
Phishing is prominent in financing, because having credentials to snoop user information will give the attacker the ability to log in with a legitimate account instead of using outside threats. Because a legitimate account is used, the attacker can stay active on the network for months before access is blocked.
Executives including the CEO often travel, and it makes them an easy target. Mixing their own devices with work often leads to an attacker taking advantage of poor security on one or all resources. These executives have access to intellectual property or sensitive data that other employees don’t. They are targets for corporate espionage when a competitor wants to steal data.
All three of these departments are usually given elevated privileges and aren’t monitored because of their positions, but it’s imperative that data they have access to is monitored even more than others. Insider threats from both malicious and negligent intentions are common, and attackers know that they can get troves of data from one simple attack.
Monitoring these permissions can also alert administrators to any suspicious activity and stop the threat before it damages your brand. Increased monitoring, alerts, and user education is key to protect these three high-level accounts on your network.