how to define insider threats represented by two men shaking hands, but one has the shadow of the a devil behind him.

by Kevin Lancaster

Learn how to define insider threats to learn how to stop them – and they might not be what you’re expecting. 

When you think of cybersecurity threats to your company, you’re almost always thinking about threats from outside your sphere. Dark Web profiteers. Competitors. Malicious hacking groups. Cybercriminals. But are you considering the possibility that your biggest threats are in your organization? Learn how to define insider threats clearly to learn where they’re really coming from.  

We’ve given you a quick sketch of the basics of insider threats. But delving more deeply into what really constitutes an insider threat can give you a better chance of spotting them (and stopping them) before they cause your security to become compromised.  


Intentional Threats: Malicious Insiders 


Malicious insiders are people who are inside of your company that are deliberately abusing their access to systems and data. In 2019, 23% of cybersecurity incidents were caused by malicious insiders.

Malicious insiders could be: 

  • Bad actors who got a job at your company just to steal your information or gain access to your systems
  • Disgruntled employees or former employees who want to gain vengeance on your company or damage your company 
  • Employees who sell secrets or information on the Dark Web just to make money
  • Staffers who are being blackmailed into providing information or access 
  • Corporate saboteurs who are working for your competition and want to steal your secrets or harm your business 
  • Profiteers who don’t seek to harm your business specifically but do want to acquire information that your company has for a nefarious purpose 

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Unintentional Threats: Accidental Actors 


Human error is the biggest cause of a data breach. As long as you’re in business, insider threats from accidental actors making bad judgments or dumb mistakes will always be a threat to your security. More than 60% of cybersecurity incidents are caused by accidental actors. 

Accidental actors could be: 

  • Staffers who download bad files 
  • Assistants that click malicious links 
  • Employees who recycle passwords 
  • Administrators who share their login credentials for convenience 
  • Executives who accidentally share privileged information 
  • Users who write their passwords down and lose them 
  • Supervisors who make weak, common passwords 
  • Programmers who fail to secure a database 
  • Managers that get taken in by spear phishing 

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Stay on Guard to Stay Safe


One of the best ways to guard against the damage that comes from insider threats is to employ Dark Web monitoring, like Dark Web ID. This solution helps mitigate insider threats with: 

  • 24/7/365 monitoring and analysis using human and machine intelligence 
  • Monitoring for highly privileged email and login credentials like executives and administrators 
  • Fast alerts if your data or credentials hit the Dark Web 
  • Peace of mind knowing that you’re actively protecting your data and systems 
  • A more complete picture of your vulnerabilities and security posture 
  • Affordable protection that aids in compliance and deploys in days, not weeks 

See a 10-minute technical demonstration of Dark Web ID


Last year, 75% of cybersecurity incidents were caused by insider threats.


ID Agent can help you get started mitigating insider threats and closing other security vulnerabilities. We can provide an expert analysis of your company’s cybersecurity needs and show you how Dark Web ID benefits your unique business. 


Make an appointment now for a personalized demonstration of Dark Web ID including a real-time Dark Web search to show you your risk.