Intentional threats to information security

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Under the threat of information security, it is customary to understand any action or event aimed at causing damage to the information system of an enterprise. Usually, confidential information is exposed to threats: data on employees and financial activities, scientific and military developments, and other important information. However, sometimes an individual is targeted by cybercriminals. In this case, they purposefully steal personal information: photos, videos, correspondence. Therefore, it is so important to ensure complete security of information and protect it from all existing threats.

The vulnerability of data is caused by a large number of potential channels of their leakage in automated information processing systems. The protection of such systems and the information contained in it is based on the assessment and detection of all types of threats during the creation, operation and reformation of the IT system itself.

The main types of security threats include:

  • natural disasters - floods, fires, earthquakes, etc .;
  • failure of equipment and auxiliary infrastructure of IT systems;
  • the consequences of mistakes made by designers and developers of IT systems;
  • inexperience and mistakes of employees when using information technologies of the company;
  • deliberate actions of insiders and cybercriminals.

Potential threats are divided into two groups depending on the cause of their occurrence: objective (natural) and subjective (artificial).

Objective (natural) threats are a disruption in the operation of IT system components due to the intervention of force majeure circumstances caused by natural phenomena without the participation of the human factor.

Subjective (artificial) threats are provoked by the actions of a person or a group of persons. In turn, they are usually divided into:

  • unintentional (unintentional) threats resulting from erroneous actions of employees, shortcomings in the development of the protection system, software failures;
  • intentional threats resulting from abuse of authority by employees, industrial espionage with the aim of illegally seizing confidential information or intellectual property of the company.

Sources of security threats can be both internal (personnel, equipment vulnerability, etc.) and external (competitors, hackers, etc.).

Illegal access is the most frequent and varied form of cybercrime. The purpose of unauthorized access is for an attacker to gain access to information in violation of the established access control rules, developed taking into account the internal information security policy. Illegal access is carried out using illegal software and special devices. Errors in the security system, incorrect installation and configuration of security programs make it easier for cybercriminals to do this.

Ways to implement intentional threats

Deliberate threats directly depend on the criminal goals of the fraudster. Criminals can be employees of an enterprise, strategic partners, hired workers, competing firms, etc. The ways in which such threats are implemented by the offender depend on the following factors: competition, employee dissatisfaction with his career, financial background (bribery), a peculiar way of self-assertion, etc.

The brightest representatives of computer criminals are not teenage hackers who use smartphones and home PCs to hack industrial IT systems. Typical IT fraudsters are company employees who have privileged access to the information security system. By definition, violators can be a person or a group of persons who deliberately committed illegal actions for personal gain or by mistake, as a result of which damage was caused to the information resources of the enterprise.

The main intentional threats to disrupt the operation of the IT system, leading to equipment failure, illegal entry into the system and provision of illegal access to information assets are:

  1. Actions aimed at disrupting the operation of an IT system (fire, explosion) or disabling its most important components (equipment, auxiliary infrastructure, mobile devices).
  2. Disconnection of power supplies, cooling and ventilation systems, communication channels.
  3. Disorganization of the IT system, that is, disruption of the software operation, installation of devices that interfere with the operation of electronics.
  4. Connecting spies to work for the purpose of preliminary intelligence, including in the information security department.
  5. Bribery and blackmail of personnel with broad powers.
  6. Use of special equipment for listening to conversations, remote video and photography.
  7. Interception of information transmitted through communication channels, their assessment to identify exchange protocols.
  8. Theft and illegal copying of information on flash drives, memory cards, hard drives, microcircuits.
  9. Theft of waste material - archival documentation written off from the production of media, etc.
  10. Reading residual information on the RAM of personal computers and external drives.
  11. Reading information from RAM used in the operating system (including the security subsystem).
  12. Illegal capture of logins and passwords for logging into the system, followed by imitation of work in it as an authorized user (masquerade).
  13. Illegal access to user terminals with unique characteristics such as the serial number of the substation on the network, physical and system address.
  14. Cracking codes for cryptographic data protection.
  15. The use of malware to create viruses that provoke hacking of an IT system in order to record and transmit confidential information or lead to malfunctions in its operation.
  16. Inappropriate connection to communication channels for actions "between the lines" (for example, entering corrupted data) under the leak of the official user during interruptions in his work.

These kinds of threats are the most common in the modern world. Because of them, confidential information regularly ends up in the hands of criminals. This harms the economy and damages the reputation of both large companies and individuals.

Protecting information from intentional threats

Depending on functionality, information security tools can be divided into the following types:

  • Means and methods of prevention. They are aimed at creating conditions under which the likelihood of the occurrence and implementation of deliberate threats of information leakage will be eliminated or minimized.
  • Detection tools. They are intended to publicize emerging threats or the likelihood of their occurrence, as well as to collect additional information.
  • Weakening means. They are designed to eliminate emerging information leakage threats.
  • Restoration means. They are needed to restore the functions of the damaged system.

You can check whether everything is in order with the data protection in the company during the 30-day free test SearchInform DLP.

The creation of a system for protecting information from unintentional or intentional threats from employees and third parties is the most important issue in ensuring information security. Organizational methods in combination with updated technological solutions play an essential role in its solution. The organizational method includes staff training, the formation of a trusting atmosphere in the company, and the elimination of conflicts between staff and management. At the technical level, access to the company's valuable resources is regularly monitored, and all personnel actions are monitored in the company's IT system.

The efforts of employees and company management are not always enough to ensure the security of information. To defend against all existing threats, sometimes you need to resort to outside help. We are talking about special companies that provide comprehensive services to prevent information leaks, hacker attacks and other threats to information assets of an enterprise. With their help, protecting important data is easier and more reliable.