Insider Risk, data exposure jeopardy!

Per Sivertsen


Insider risk refers to the potential for employees or other insiders to misuse or mishandle sensitive data within an organization. This can include actions such as stealing data, sharing confidential information with unauthorized parties, or intentionally or unintentionally compromising data security.Insider risk can occur in a variety of forms, including:

Malicious Insider: An employee or contractor who intentionally misuses or mishandles sensitive data for personal gain or to cause harm to the organizationAccidental Insider: An employee or contractor who unintentionally causes a data breach or compromise due to lack of training, awareness, or oversight

  • Compromised Insider: An employee or contractor whose account or device has been hacked

compromised by an external party, who then uses this access to steal or compromise data

  • Third-Party Insider: A vendor, partner, or other third-party who has access to sensitive data but misuses it or mishandles it in some way

Insider risk can have serious consequences for organizations, including financial loss, reputational damage, and legal and regulatory penalties. That’s why it’s important for organizations to have a robust data governance and risk management strategy in place to detect and prevent insider risks.

So how can we address insider risk with support of technology?

Microsoft Azure Purview is a data governance service that helps organizations discover, understand, and manage their data. One of the features of Azure Purview is the ability to detect and prevent insider risk, which refers to the potential for employees or other insiders to misuse or mishandle sensitive data.

Purview uses machine learning and natural language processing to classify and label data, making it easier to identify and protect sensitive information. It also provides access controls and monitoring capabilities to help organizations track and manage data usage by employees and other insiders. Additionally, it provides automated alerts and reports to help organizations quickly identify and respond to potential insider risks.

Azure Purview includes a feature called “Insider Risk Management” that allows organizations to detect and respond to potential insider risks. This feature includes:

  • User risk scoring: Azure Purview uses machine learning algorithms to analyse user behaviour and assign a risk score to each user. This score is based on factors such as data access patterns, user profiles, and other behavioural indicators
  • Risk-based access: Based on the risk score of a user, organizations can set up access controls to limit the user’s ability to access sensitive data
  • Alerts and reports: Azure Purview can generate alerts and reports that identify potential insider risks and provide details on the specific user and data involved
  • Investigation and response: Organizations can use the information provided by Azure Purview to investigate potential insider risks and take appropriate action, such as revoking access or escalating the incident to legal or compliance teams
  • With these features, Azure Purview helps organizations to identify and mitigate risks of data breaches caused by employees or other insiders, by providing an efficient way to understand and control access to sensitive data.

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