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Sunday, 28 June 2015

THE INSIDER THREATS ARE GROWING

We now leave the most exciting period in human history, Life has been simplified with the existing technology – Our life today depends on information technology, from our communication and transports, finance and banking, energy and education, and other services in our daily life.

 As we become more reliant on information technology which off course simplifies our life, we also put ourselves vulnerable to cyber-attack which exposes our sensitive personnel and business information, disrupting critical operations and imposing high cost to individual, organisation and the country at large.

The number of mobile and internet subscribers in Tanzania has increased – more people have access to internet through their computers or their mobiles phones. This has increased the number of mobile subscriber to over 32 Million and rapidly growing number of subscribers for data service with more than 62 data operators in the country.

Privileged users, contractors, consultants and regular employees ere the next biggest threat to organizations – Privileged users, such as managers with access to sensitive information, pose the biggest insider threat to organizations. Insider threats have become more frequent in the last 12 months, but there is no much initiatives to address the problem.

This rise in insider attacks is mostly due to a combination of three factors: insufficient data protection strategies and solutions; the proliferation of sensitive data moving outside the firewall on mobile devices, and lack of employee training and awareness.

Most organizations have no appropriate controls to prevent insider attacks, and most believe insider attacks are far more difficult to detect and prevent than external attacks – insider attacks are difficult to detect and prevent primarily because insiders often already have access to systems and sensitive information.


The increased use of cloud- based apps and the rise in the amount of data that is leaving the protected network perimeter are also key contributing factors.
Remediation costs will grow even bigger caused by a successful insider attack. Databases and file servers are considered most vulnerable to insider attacks, followed by mobile devices, endpoints and business applications. In addition, collaboration and communication apps, such as email, cloud storage and file- sharing apps such as Dropbox, Finance and accounting apps are most vulnerable to insider attacks.

We have seen tremendous attacks on customer data intellectual property, financial data, employee data, sales and marketing data and health care data in the past few years and they will keep increasing due to the luck right way to address these attacks.

When addressing this growing cyber threats challenges organizations need to think of the followings – Do we have well organized awareness program to our organizations? Do we have the right skillset to solve these challenges? Are the policies available and implemented accordingly?


Lack of collaboration and the prices of the tools to mitigate cyber threats being high keep making this journey of solving cyber challenges unbearable. It’s about time to extend efforts in capacity building to make sure we have the right skillset capable to address these challenges and to make sure private and public institutions to work together to make Tanzania the better place now and in the future.