Mitigating Insider Threats with Flashpoint Expertise & ObserveIT Technology
By Eric Lackey
When it comes to combating insider threats, timing is everything.
It can take as little as a few minutes or even seconds for an insider to exfiltrate sensitive data or infect critical systems with malware, for example—no matter whether their actions are intentional or accidental. And in most cases, the longer it takes for an organization to detect and investigate such a threat, the greater the resulting damages are likely to be.
Timely detection and investigation of insider threats, however, is far easier said than done. For many organizations, this is due largely to a lack of the right tools, the right expertise, or both.
On the tools front, there’s a common misconception that the same tools security operations centers and incident response teams use to detect and respond to external threats are just as suitable for insider threats. In reality, many such tools provide mostly network visibility or are signature-based and thus can only identify indicators of known threats that require an initial exploit or breach to penetrate a targeted network. Since insiders, unlike external threat actors, already have network privileges, their activities lack these indicators and are unlikely to be detected by these tools.
But even for organizations that do seek out the right tools for detecting and investigating insider threats, the market is oversaturated and tricky to navigate. Misleading claims and confusing marketing are abundant. Tools ranging from user and entity behavior analytics platforms, to data loss prevention offerings, to user activity monitoring solutions are frequently, and falsely, touted as panaceas of sorts, making it all the more difficult for prospective customers to determine which offerings are suitable for their needs.
Meanwhile, on the expertise front, the issue for many organizations is that they’ve long been accustomed to prioritizing—and allocating most of their security resources toward—combating external threats. As a result, not only is insider threat activity a common blindspot, but so are the various fundamental elements and integrative composition of an insider threat program (ITP)—otherwise known as the means through which such activity can be detected and investigated most efficiently and effectively.
Developing an ITP is not just a matter of throwing another tool at the problem, however. It requires building a strong foundation that integrates various resources and stakeholders throughout the organization, identifies an organization’s critical assets and vulnerabilities, and drives policy and governance to protect the organization and its stakeholders from this threat.
All of these challenges are precisely what fueled a new collaboration between Flashpoint Professional Services (FPS) and ObserveIT. By combining the FPS team’s unmatched expertise in building and strengthening in-house ITPs with ObserveIT’s innovative Insider Threat Management platform, this collaboration is designed to help customers—regardless of size, industry, or ITP maturity level—overcome the myriad challenges inherent to detecting and investigating insider threats.
If you’d like to learn more about this new collaboration, Flashpoint Professional Services, or ObserveIT, please contact us here.
About Flashpoint Professional Services
The Flashpoint Professional Services team augments existing resources and expertise to enhance or assess the need for an in-house insider threat function. Seasoned insider threat experts on the Flashpoint team bring unparalleled experience building insider threat programs from the ground up for a variety of organizations, ranging from Fortune 50 companies to federal government agencies.
ObserveIT empowers security teams to proactively detect insider threats, streamline the investigation process, and enables rapid response by delivering real-time alerts and context into what users are doing in one easy-to-use solution. Organizations can significantly reduce the risk of security incidents by monitoring user behavior and offering real-time education and deterrence. ObserveIT cuts investigation time from days to minutes and offers full playback of security incidents to improve response times and simplify compliance.
Eric Lackey, Flashpoint’s principal advisor of insider threat program management, is an experienced professional in the areas of insider threat and counterintelligence with over 20 years of experience providing support to criminal investigations, threat intelligence analysis, network investigations, and digital forensics. Prior to joining Flashpoint, Eric most recently worked for one of the largest global financial services institutions on the Global Information Security Insider Threat team. Prior to this role, Eric spent the previous 10 years as a Senior Insider Threat and Counterintelligence Analyst for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, as part of his 23 years of service within the Department of Defense. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Digital Forensic Science.